A photo of crime lord Hakan Ayik enjoying a luxury dinner alongside a former top Comancheros bikie has re-surfaced, showing the Australian crime king pin in happier times, unaware his high life as the ‘Facebook Gangster’ was about to come to an abrupt end.
The photo with ex-Comanchero Baris Tukel sharing a dinner with a bevy of attractive friends in Istanbul would now seem a world away for Ayik, who now not just a wanted man not just by authorities, but now also by fellow gangsters, who blame him for the Operation Ironside raids across the globe, which smashed their violent drug syndicates.
The Australian Federal Police have urged Ayik, who is believed to still be in Turkey, to turn himself in for his own protection, as he unwittingly played a central role in the global sting that took down a web of organised crime across the globe.
Australian, U.S., and European authorities carried out raids across the world on Tuesday, with 4,000 cops in Australia arresting 224 accused organised crime figures and seizing tonnes of drugs, millions in cash and other contraband and luxury goods.
A resurfaced picture from 2015 has shown Ayik dining with Australian former bikie Baris Tukel, who was hit with racketeering charges by the FBI
The criminals were caught out through their use of the AN0M app and special encryption phones, not knowing they were designed and secretly distributed by police in the US and Australia, who were reading every word.
The AN0M app gained currency in the underworld after being promoted by senior criminal figures including Ayik, a flamboyant ‘Facebook Gangster’ and alleged drug lord andComanchero associate.
A resurfaced pictures show Ayik dining with ex-Comanchero Baris Tukel in Turkey in 2015, enjoying a lifestyle and freedom that was now at an end, swapped for a life on the run both from police and furious crime figures who blame him for their downfall.
Australia’s most wanted Hakan Ayik (centre) was influential in spreading the AN0M app through his criminal networks, it has been claimed
Cocaine, MDMA, steroids, large sums of cash, ammunition, three mobile phones, a money counter, scales and a gel blaster handgun were allegedly uncovered as part of the raid
On Wednesday night Ayik’s Dutch wife Fleur Messelink uploaded the photo to Instagram showing the group of friends at a high end restaurant in the Turkish capital Istanbul, before later deleting it.
The FBI charged both Tukel, a former Comanchero Sergeant-at-Arms, and Ayik with racketeering following Operation Ironside after following their activities on the encrypted app.
Australian police have warned Ayik, who is believed to have had facial surgery to alter his appearance and dodge apprehension, that he is a marked man after unwittingly peddling the ‘trojan horse’ app to his underworld associates.
With the alleged ‘Aussie cartel’ now crippled thanks to the cunning international scheme, police said Ayik should turn himself in for the sake of his family’s safety.
‘Given the threat he faces, he’s best off handing himself into us as soon as he can,’ AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw said.
‘He was one of the coordinators of this particular device, so he’s essentially set up his own colleagues.’
Ayik was all too aware of the threat posed by rival criminals, as his close associate John Macris was gunned down execution style in Athens in 2018.
The AN0M sting culminated in Tuesday’s raids, but the ‘trojan horse’ communication platform has been used to arrest more than 220 Australian organised crime figures since 2018.
The surveillance of the AN0M communication platform has resulted in the arrest of more than 220 Australian organised crime figures since 2018. Pictured: Money seized by the AFP during raids
The AFP also said on Tuesday it had seized 3.7 tonnes of drugs, more than 100 weapons and almost $45 million in cash as part of the operation since 2018
Offenders are linked to the Australian-based Italian mafia, outlaw motorcycle gangs, Asian crime syndicates and Albanian organised crime figures. Pictured: evidence seized by the AFP following raids
More than 100 of these individuals have now been charged.
Offenders are linked to the Australian-based Italian mafia, outlaw motorcycle gangs, Asian crime syndicates and Albanian organised crime figures.
The communications found on the platform revealed 21 murder plots, gun distribution activity and mass drug trafficking, Australian Federal Police say.
The AFP also said on Tuesday it had seized 3.7 tonnes of drugs, more than 100 weapons and almost $45 million in cash as part of the operation since 2018.
The global operation has prompted mass arrests across 18 countries and the AFP intends to extradite and charge numerous residents overseas.
Commissioner Kershaw told reporters organised crime figures openly and unashamedly discussed their activities on the ANoM platform, unaware police were monitoring their discussions.