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FT mufti welcomes Muslim convert ex-Aussie gangster


KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 — Vince Focarelli, a former leader of one of Australia’s most notorious motorcycle gangs, dropped in on Federal Territories Mufti Datuk Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri here today.

The senior Islamic cleric seemed quite pleased with the visit and even posed for a couple of pictures with the 42-year-old former convict, which he posted on his Facebook page this afternoon.

“Ahlan wa sahlan to Abdul Salam (Vince Focarelli), former gangster in Australia who visited us at the Federal Territories Mufti’s Office.

“Hearing how he received guidance to embrace Islam is enough to remind us of the greatness of Allah.

“It is true that guidance belongs to Allah alone,” the mufti wrote in Malay.

It is unknown what the Italy-born who has taken on the Muslim name Imran Salaam is doing in Malaysia.

Focarelli gained notoriety as a leader of an Adelaide-based bike gang called Comanchero and was involved in territorial rivalry with other gangs that saw his 22-year-old stepson Giovanni killed in a January 2012 shooting.

Focarelli was later jailed on firearms and drug offences, but released on parole in April 2013.

He was reported to have embraced Islam last year and opened a halal restaurant called La’Fig Cucina in Adelaide that fed the homeless one a week and donated to the local Muslim community.

He credited his family and his new-found religion as the keys to his reform from a life of crime.

He was more recently reported to have voluntarily left Australia for his native Italy in March this year, before the Australian government could cancel his visa and deport him to a detention centre.

The Malay Mail Online