His new life in Malaysia - with some regrets
some. He didn’t want to leave my side.
“I fell in love with him for that. When you can’t trust the world and then you have someone you can.”
Wrestling with the guilt, Focarelli said he refused anti-depressant medication and, instead, sought solace in particular passages of the Koran which bought him peace.
“If one (passage) can take away so much pain and give me so much peace, how vast is the rest of the Koran?” Focarelli says.
“I’ve never looked back. I’ve never set foot back in that criminal world.
“I got shot four, five times and I am still alive. Allah doesn’t owe me anything. I owe Allah.”
Despite his pledge never to be caught up in South Australia’s underworld crime scene, Focarelli still had his visa cancelled for previous crimes.
“They never gave me a real reason,” he says. “All the crime I did was in the past, my criminal network was in the past, and then they came to deport me.
“I wasn’t the toughest gangster in the world, I don’t claim to be. All I know is that I stood my ground and I wouldn’t take grief from anybody.
“I changed my life but I don’t think that suited them.
“Imagine that – my mother is dying and I just can’t be there for her.
“My father was dying and they wouldn’t let me out of prison. He died two hours before I was released. I couldn’t go to my stepson’s funeral – I had to watch it on TV in prison. Did I turn my back on Allah? No, there was something Allah wanted to change in my life.”
When contacted by the Sunday Mail, Focarelli politely declined to go into the details of his new life in Malaysia.
Focarelli with his mother, who has stage four cancer and is being cared for by him at his home in Kuala Lumpur. Inset, a notice promoting meetings at which he explains his transition from a world of crime to his embrace of Islam.