He is Australia’s wealthiest bikie and worth more than $100m — but he can’t come home to spend a cent of it.
Self-proclaimed Comanchero boss Mark Buddle, who has boasted to police about burying people alive, is a permanent tourist holed up among the luxury skyscrapers of the glittering Gulf city of Dubai, where he is said to be so rich he is bored.
The heavily tattooed hardman fled Australia in 2016 as a person of interest in the fatal shooting of Chubb security guard Gary Allibon.
Police have offered a $1m reward for information about the 2010 murder of Mr Allibon, 59, who was shot while replenishing ATMs in Sussex Street, Sydney.
Since then, Buddle, 36, has been linked to the 2018 assassination of his bitter rival Mick Hawi, from whom he took over the leadership of the Comanchero after Hawi was jailed over the 2009 fatal Sydney Airport brawl with the Hells Angels. He has also been the subject of several other police investigations.
During the recent trial, at which two men were acquitted of Hawi’s murder, Buddle was described as having a possible motive to want Hawi dead.
Buddle’s rise to wealth and notoriety from a Maroubra housing commission flat has provoked both fear and fascination.
Overseas, he has built on the proceeds he accumulated as a bikie, as police investigate him for alleged drug smuggling into Australia.
“He is living an extravagant lifestyle with no apparent means of income,” one law enforcement officer said.
Buddle reportedly hired a private jet to fly himself and friends to the US Super Bowl, according to underworld sources.
“That wouldn’t surprise me. He is said to have so much money he doesn’t know what to do with it,” another senior law enforcement officer, who has been investigating Buddle’s criminal career for more than a decade, said.
He is known to travel between Dubai, Turkey and Greece, with a photograph emerging that appears to show him partying with mates on the Greek island of Mykonos. Alongside him in the photograph is his longtime ally Ali Bazzi.
When his mother died shortly after she returned to Sydney from visiting him in Dubai in 2018, he saw she was laid to rest in a $45,000 gold coffin as senior Comanchero members attended the funeral, posing for a picture outside the Botany church.
As tensions mounted in Comanchero ranks earlier that year because of the power vacuum left by Buddle fleeing overseas, he texted the bikies: “I’m the f..king commander of the world … no one is to touch another member or set up another chapter without my permission.”
Rumour has it that when the rival Coffin Cheaters bikies from Western Australia wanted to move to the east coast, Buddle summonsed their leaders to a meeting at Maroubra.
“F..k off” he told them — and that’s what they did.
His girlfriend, Melanie Terwisscha, 36, is believed to be with him along with their daughter. In 2012, he faced Sydney’s Central Local Court after police alleged he slapped, choked and threatened to “slit’’ her throat because he thought she was cheating on him.
The court was told Buddle allegedly walked into the kitchen and returned with a large, black-handled silver carving knife approximately 30cm in length.
He allegedly licked the blade and told Ms Terwisscha he would “slit your f..king throat. You have been playing around on me like a gronk. You think I wouldn’t find out, I find out everything”.
Buddle was charged with two counts of being armed with intent to commit an indictable offence, one count of assault and one of affray, and the court was told he suffered from bipolar disorder.
In January 2014, he was arrested over a confrontation with police at the start of a family holiday as he stepped off a plane on the Gold Coast.
Southport Magistrates Court was told the bikie boss had smashed a police car window with his head and told a police officer he was going to “rape his family in front of him and kill him” after police refused to let him talk to his wife and daughter.
The court also heard he told police he had “killed people and buried them alive”.
He pleaded guilty to serious obstruction of police and was handed a six-month suspended sentence.
In 2015, he and Ms Terwisscha were trying to leave Australia on a private jet when police arrested them on the tarmac at Newcastle Airport on their way to Noumea.
Buddle had just got out of a Victorian jail after serving 15 months for affray, assault and intentionally causing injury in a fight at Melbourne’s Spearmint Rhino strip club in December 2011.
The judge said that instead of walking away from a brewing fight with a bunch of concreters at a work Christmas party, he took them on when he heard one of them saying: “F..k you, f..k your mother.”
At Newcastle Airport, police found $60,120 hidden in Buddle’s luggage.
He pleaded guilty to attempting to take $10,000 or more out of Australia without declaring it. He was given a two-month suspended jail sentence.
Originally published as Australia’s wealthiest bikie in $100m exile