FORCE COPS A BIG LOSS

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - Federal Politics - MARK MORRI CRIME ED­I­TOR

A BIKIE tak­ing out a con­tract on his life was just one of the many chal­lenges De­tec­tive Su­per­in­ten­dent Arthur Kat­so­gian­nis faced in 38 years as a cop.

The vet­eran of­fi­cer re­tired yes­ter­day, as 260 new re­cruits formed a guard of hon­our for him at the Po­lice Academy at Goul­burn.

The one-time cham­pion body builder and ac­coun­tant told The Satur­day Tele­graph that a strike force was set up to in­ves­ti­gate the threat, with cam­eras in­stalled in his home when he was boss of the Gang Squad.

“There was cred­i­ble in­tel­li­gence about the con­tract, a sub­stan­tial amount of money was be­ing of­fered,’’ Supt Kat­so­gian­nis said. “As a po­lice­man it’s part of the job and you ex­pect it but it’s dis­rup­tive to the fam­ily, and you hate that. But I be­lieve God and my faith helped me a lot and pro­tected me, as well as the sup­port of my wife Amelia.” Supt Kat­so­gian­nis, who was later joined in the po­lice force for sev­eral years by son Daniel, started out in 1980 as a con­sta­ble at Bal­main. “In those days bikies were a cou­ple of guys sit­ting on mo­tor­cy­cles out­side the Bour­bon and Beef­steak at Kings Cross and not the or­gan­ised crime groups they be­came,’’ he said. Thirty years later he was in­stru­men­tal in draft­ing con­sort­ing laws which have dec­i­mated bikie gangs in this state. He also worked on some of the city’s high­est pro­file cases, in­clud­ing the ar­rest of for­mer at­tor­neygen­eral and judge Jeff Shaw (pic­tured be­low) af­ter a car crash in 2004. “It was a mas­sive case af­ter he was ar­rested … and taken to the lo­cal hospi­tal, then the story just got big­ger,’’ he re­called. Supt Kat­so­gian­nis be­came aware a vial of blood be­long­ing to Shaw was miss­ing from the hospi­tal. “I started an in­quiry, which was ob­vi­ously very sen­si­tive and I had the deputy com­mis­sioner ring­ing every day,” he said. Shaw, who died in 2010, was later charged with neg­li­gent driv­ing and driv­ing while drunk, and was fined $3000 and dis­qual­i­fied from driv­ing for a year.

Other cases in­cluded the NRL bet­ting scan­dal, in which Bull­dogs star Ryan Tandy was charged in 2010 af­ter he de­lib­er­ately held down an op­pos­ing Cow­boys player in front of the goal­posts to give away a penalty.

He and oth­ers stood to make $100,000 if the Cow­boys scored a penalty goal. “It went pear-shaped when the Cow­boys took the tap and scored a try in­stead,” Supt Kat­so­gian­nis said.

Tandy was ul­ti­mately con­victed over the match­fix­ing, and died of a drug over­dose in 2014.

As head of the firearms squad in 2009, Supt Kat­so­gian­nis led an in­ves­ti­ga­tion that un­cov­ered a crim­i­nal net­work sup­ply­ing weapons to bikies in­clud­ing a Rus­sian-de­signed AK-47 as­sault ri­fle, a Colt AR-15 semi­au­to­matic as­sault ri­fle, a WWII Austin Mark 1 ma­chine­gun and a num­ber of sub-ma­chine­guns.

“Get­ting those weapons off the street and keep­ing them out of the hands of crooks and po­ten­tially ter­ror­ists was very im­por­tant to me,’’ he said.

Per­haps his most fa­mous case, which made world head­lines, was when he lit­er­ally pulled the plug on a banned movie. In 2003 the Aus­tralian Cen­sor­ship Board banned pub­lic show­ing of a movie called Ken Park, which dealt with sub­jects such as teenage sex, in­cest and au­to­erotic as­phyx­i­a­tion.

More than 500 peo­ple in­clud­ing TV stars and ac­tors had packed Bal­main Town Hall and were about to see the movie.

“Just as they were about to show the movie I or­dered a con­sta­ble to pull the plug, to cut the power to the pro­jec­tor,” he said.

Su­per­in­ten­dent Arthur Kat­so­gian­nis re­tired yes­ter­day. Pic­ture: Dy­lan Robin­son

Amelia, Daniel and Arthur Kat­so­gian­nis.

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