Suspected Calabrian mafia figure executed in Greenvale gangland hit


Without naming the victim, Travaglini said the man was known to police.

“We’ve spoken to [the family]. They’re quite distraught – they’re not really in a position to provide too much detail,” Travaglini said.

John Latorre in 2015, at the funeral of underworld figure Vince Benvenuto at St Patrick’s Church in Mentone.

John Latorre in 2015, at the funeral of underworld figure Vince Benvenuto at St Patrick’s Church in Mentone.Credit: Jason South

Latorre has long been regarded by law-enforcement authorities as a quiet but influential member of the ’Ndrangheta.

Victoria Police are now bracing for retaliation attacks.

“There’s nothing to suggest retaliation at this point in time,” Travaglini said.

“However, you’ve also got to understand that if there [are] links to organised crime, there is the potential for retaliation.

“And that’s [why] Victoria Police approach such investigations as a high priority.”

Late on Tuesday, police did not know how many attackers were involved or how they left the area, and could not say how many times Latorre was shot.

Since it was transplanted by Calabrian immigrants in the early 20th century, the so-called Honoured Society had been “protecting” – and preying on – Australia’s ethnic Italian community from strongholds in Melbourne, Sydney and Griffith, NSW.

The organisation has established deep connections in both legitimate and criminal enterprises, including drug trafficking and extortion rackets in the agriculture and hospitality industries.

Company records show Latorre – a former Liberal Party donor – was a director of Latorre’s Fruit & Vegetable Wholesalers, which is based at the Melbourne Market in Epping.

This masthead has reported that Latorre was part of a small group of businessmen linked to the Calabrian mafia that donated tens of thousands of dollars to the Liberal Party as part of a suspected plot to get a visa for crime figure Francesco “Frank” Madafferi.

In 2005, then-immigration minister Amanda Vanstone granted Madafferi a visa to stay in Australia, but he was later convicted over his involvement in what was at the time the world’s biggest ecstasy bust. He remains in jail.

Latorre’s brother, Vincent, was previously jailed for extortion activity in the Shepparton region.

Vincent Latorre (left), John Latorre and Francesco Madafferi.

Vincent Latorre (left), John Latorre and Francesco Madafferi.Credit: The Age

A coroner named Vincent Latorre, a former fruiterer, as a suspect in the murder of orchardist Rocco “Rocky” Iaria, 20, who was last seen alive in September 1991.

Iaria’s body was discovered almost seven years later in the grave of an elderly woman at the Pine Lodge cemetery near Shepparton.

On Tuesday morning, dozens of police officers swarmed the Greenvale crime scene stretching about 100 metres along Buchanan Place and into neighbouring Jedburgh Place.

Police expanded the crime scene about 9am, scouring nearby nature strips and doorknocking homes, while forensics officers inspected the area near the body.

John Latorre with co-workers at his wholesale fruit and vegetable shop at the Melbourne Market in Epping.

John Latorre with co-workers at his wholesale fruit and vegetable shop at the Melbourne Market in Epping. Credit: Instagram

The exact circumstances surrounding the death are still being established, however police are treating the shooting as a targeted attack. They want to speak to anyone who witnessed the attack or has information.

The neighbourhood would be canvassed for CCTV, Travaglini said, and investigators want to speak to anyone who has footage, or who was driving through the area between midnight and 4.30am who might have dashcam footage.



Source link

Leave a Comment