Phone Tap Targets

When Frederick ‘Paddles’ Anderson died in Sydney in January 1985, the public knew who he was . . . thanks to the now legendary NSW police tapes. Otherwise, he might have died as he lived, relatively unnoticed.

For Paddles was a true Australian godfather, the rarely acknowledged titular head of the entrenched underworld of Sydney, with control also over events in Queensland, if not also Victoria.

But for the records of the NSW police telephone taps, nobody might have believed it.

After all, Royal Commissions had come and gone. Most did not even know he existed.

While come academics still seek to argue that organised crime does not exist, or that the mafia is a myth, it was Paddles Anderson himself who, in his own words on the tapes, identified his grouping of crime figures as ‘the Mob’. And it was Paddles who warned of outsiders seeking to set up in Sydney and not knowing the ‘workings of the town’.

Disclosure of some of the phone tap material through the Age newspaper in Melbourne resulted in a plethora of inquiries and charges against various people.


But only portions of the material have been published.

No newspaper could have published all of the material, anyway. Apart from any limitations due to restrictive libel laws, the tap material encompassed 524 foolscap pages of typed transcripts and police reports covering 3980 tapped conversations, as well as voice cassettes recording eleven more conversations. In print form, they would fill two to three ordinary sized novels.

Moreover, the material as a whole represented but a miniscule sample of material gathered by NSW police from tapping operations against organised crime targets over seven years.

With the appointment early in 1985 of Mr Justice Donald Stewart to conduct a Royal Commission into identities and activities exposed by the tapping operation, even more material was expected to be forthcoming to assist inquiries.

The phone tap material embraces the entire spectrum of organised crime, from shoplifting to drug trafficking, and including corruption of public officials, court fixing, arson, immigration rackets, tax fraud, illegal SP book-making, illegal casinos, race fixing.

Nothing illustrates the inner workings of organised crime better than the wheelings and dealings surrounding gambling — organised crime’s traditional moneypot.

As acknowledged in a report by Ian Temby QC, Federal Director of Public Prosecutions, tabled in Federal Parliament, the phone tap material already in the hands of authorities involved not only the much-publicised tapping of the phone of Sydney solicitor Morgan Ryan but taps on phones of George Freeman, as well as key figures such as Frederick ‘Paddles’ Anderson, Bob Trimbole, and Abe Saffron.

Freeman, usually described in the media as a colourful racing identity, has announced he intends selling up his Yowie Bay mansion and retiring from the Sydney scene.

Obviously, his phone-tap records may haunt him.

They testify to his knowledge of racing — and SP betting and casinos, football betting cards, among other things.

Back during the NSW Woodward Royal Commission, when he was described as ‘sydney’s leading off-course bookmaker’ one of his closest associates, Stan ‘The Man’ Smith used his name to underpin his claim that unexplained income came from race winnings. Smith’s barrister maintained that Smith was ‘putting himself up not as a normal punter but, rather, as someone who has taken tips from a man who knows, Mr Freeman . . . he knows what horses are going to come home’.

This prompted Mr Justice Woodward to suggest that it was a matter of organisation, not luck.

Then during the Street Royal Commission, when much was made of the fact that ex-Chief Stipendiary Magistrate Murray Farquhar got racing tips from Freeman too, it was suggested that they were invariably ninety-eight per cent accurate.

The transcripts of conversations recorded from police taps on two of Freeman’s phones in 1976 show that Farquhar did get tips — and won. Modestly.

Freeman is recorded calling his SP betting headquarters, advising an assistant, Lyn Black, to ‘send Murray 280 . . . lives Pagewood way, in phone book’. The same day a pleased magistrate calls Freeman: ‘offer T (T for Target: police surveillance term for Freeman) a job on the bench at Burwood court . . . Ha Ha’. The transcript goes on: ‘They discuss horse racing and the appeal which is on with the racing or trotting authority and Tony Bellanto’s comments on it . . . It seems the magistrate had a winning week, and quizzes T on settling’.

In various conversations, Freeman is recorded talking about having been interviewed by police for a major inquiry at that time into rigging of trotting events: ‘He doesn’t think that he’s going to be barred’.

On the same day, Freeman is recorded asking a caller if he had rung a trotting driver (named). The transcript says: ‘If he wants to hold, he can have a thousand. If T backs winner there is a bonus . . .’ A return call advises that the driver ‘says that he doesn’t have any chance of holding a trotter out because he tried last week and he just went straight past him’.

Another trot driver apparently saw less difficulty. A record of their conversation says flatly: ‘They discuss horse pulling etc’.

A call is recorded to an associate, later to be embroiled in a much-publicised disbarment by trotting authorities: ‘. . . they discuss racing information and work out which horses to pull’. Then there’s a call back: ‘. . . says he contacted that driver . . . and says can’t lose the race so T says he’ll put four hundred on for the driver as an added inducement to go faster’. Then another call, which records: ‘T explains the fix to another caller. STD’.

Later, Freeman is informed that an associate is ‘also under a cloud with the racing authorities’. Freeman ‘offers to pick up legal tab for him’.

When it comes to horse racing, Freeman’s record of phone calls certainly confirm his much-talked-about access to big names in racing. He talkes in particular to two top trainers.

The transcripts refer to a call to one of the trainers in Melbourne, in which it is stated: ‘Long conversation re auctioning of a horse in Canberra. Overtones of crooked dealings re ownership title etc. Also mention of using oxygen masks to pep up the horses. Also mention of “drips” and “cortisone”‘.

In another interstate call, Freeman is recorded asking the ‘caller about things he got off him, then asks can you put one in a whip. Caller says you can put one in a whip but they say they are not very successful. Caller can get something to put in a lead bag. T orders one of each’.

Conversations about race fixing also figure prominently on the telephone tap records of Robert Trimbole. The telephone tap material certainly shows that he made a welter of his race fixing operations. These are outlined in detail in the chapter ‘The Fixers’.

In a conversation recorded between two crooks associated with Paddles Anderson, mention is made of an ostensibly honest racing committee identity. One ‘reckons he’s as crooked as they come’.

The tapes relating to race fixing have been used by the Victorian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence as the basis for the most exhaustive inquiry ever mounted by police into Australia-wide race rigging rackets. A Royal Commission-style report of some 300 pages has just been presented to the new National Crime Authority seeking a national judicial inquiry into the racing industry.

Illegal SP bookmaking features largely throughout all of the tap material, on all of the identities tapped.

The Freeman transcripts corroborate details contained in a report of the NSW Police Force’s Crime Intelligence Unit (now known as Bureau of Criminal Intelligence, tabled, in part, in the NSW Parliament by Premier Neville Wran in 1979.

The CIU report mentioned that Freeman moved his SP offices from 360 Homer Street, Earlwood, to premises at Seven Ways, Rockdale, after Federal police in 1976 had obtained photographs of the activities both outside and inside the Earlwood premises.

On the transcripts, Freeman is recorded advising associates of the move. In one conversation, he is recorded as saying that ‘the only reason he shifted was that someone was following his place . . . says that they saw Lennie (Leonard McPherson, popularly known as Mr Big) at his office’.

When told it would be better for the phones for the new office to be in a company name, Freeman is recorded as saying, ‘Well, put them under Grant Constructions Company’. In May 1971, Freeman had established the company with a Chicago mobster, Joe Testa (since killed in a mob assassination on the West Coast of America).

Later, an associate named Joe rang in to Freeman advising that a complaint over Freeman’s phones at the Earlwood office had been ‘squashed’.

Freeman is quoted saying to Joe that he ‘is fed up with punting . . . says he’d be better off if they locked him up for six months so that he can have a rest from it’.

A police summary sheet notes that ‘Freeman believes that the CIU moved him from Earlwood and that if he has to move again because of them, he will close the betting operation down and move into another field’. The summary also states that Joe Taylor, proprietor of the then flourishing Kellet Club Casino, was informed by a senior policeman, ‘to watch the phones and to pass this message on to Freeman also . . . Taylor did pass this on to Freeman’.

According to separate taps, a Sydney associate of Abe Saffron also was very much a gambling man.

He is recorded as having been offered an interest in SP outlets at hotels at Wentworthville and Regents Park. After a caller reported starting two blokes at Wentworthville, the Associate is stated on police transcripts to have asked: ‘Will you work out what percentage you’ll cut me in for or what?’

To which the caller says: ‘Yeah, right’.

Associate: What you think is fair.

Caller: Yeah, okay.

Associate: I mean percentages are percentages. I mean, I know that you know. I mean, there’s a bloody pie and it seems to me that there’s going to be plenty of fingers in ’em.

Caller: To make it worthwhile, you’ve got to get more joints. You know what I’m getting at.

Associate: That’s right.

Caller: . . . Now what you need more to make it like everything is at Woolworths, the more you get the cheaper it is, you know, to operate. What we want to know from the wallopers is how quickly if we move into Wentworthville, if the owner pisses the other bloke off, we can start.

Associate: Yeah, well I’m finding out for you, okay?

Amidst a flurry of activity surrounding the new SP outlets, the Associate is recorded as having received a call from Abe Saffron, named in parliament as an organised crime figure.


Saffron: I got a bit worried on Saturday. You know the two new ones — Wentworthville and the other one. The hotels. There were hassles there.

Associate: I wish you had rung me. Then I could have contacted them. The other is Regents Park. They are the two new ones we added on.

The transcripts state that Saffron then carried on a conversation with someone else in the room (obviously a policeman). The transcripts add: ‘saffron says he would like the other person have one of his boys look in on Saturday to make sure things are alright. They are not to do anything. Just look and report’.

Saffron: I’ve asked him to have a look at it without doing anything, if that is okay. If not, to tell me. Well, you heard me tell him that.

Associate: Yes, I heard that.

Saffron: He won’t go against that. Regents okay. No complaint and that is the story.

It was a different story several months later in 1979, with the appointment of Superintendent Merv Beck as head of the Police Gaming Squad — as illustrated by the records of a tap on the phone at the Kings Cross headquarters used by Paddles Anderson.

The very day the tappings operation began, 10 June 1979, an associate called Ronnie used the phone and is recorded as having suspected telephone tapping in an unexpected police crackdown against SP betting.

‘Yeah’, he is recorded as having told a caller. ‘I mean on a large scale. I would bet even money. I don’t know whether I’m a tapper or a tappee, but I would bet evens on one of the two. I’m there somewhere . . . And I don’t know why, you know. I just don’t know why. I just don’t understand it. It just doesn’t make sense. I mean, SP is not something new . . . I mean, a guy is entitled to a bloody bet . . .’

He apparently remained optimistic, though: ‘I mean, it will be sorted out. It can’t last for long; it’s nonsense’.

Still, a month later, a betting partner warns, ‘Well, you’ve got to be very careful there’s not protection’.

The transcript adds: ‘I had a long talk with a couple of fellows and they reckon there is no way that they could convict me the way I am doing it. Ron says, well, we’ll do it the same as last week. I’ll get Alf to come to my place’.

The following month, in a record of a call to a contact in New York, Ralph Angel, Ronnie is queried about another American contact, Howard. ‘Well, I tell you, er’, he is quoted as saying, ‘I’m going to send him some bread, Ralph, but it really has been very difficult the last couple of months here. They have had a big crackdown. They have had a crackdown and everything and most of the, — er, big money activities have been quietened down for a couple of months. Big crackdown, they changed the whole police force, the Commissioner, the head of this, the head of that, the head of the other, and everything is very quiet at the moment . . . It’s not easy, Ralph. At the moment it is not easy . . .’

The previous day, according to the transcripts, an illegal casino-style game set up in an apartment in Darling Point (with equipment from the already closed Goulburn Club Casino) had to be closed because of the police crackdown. Merv Wood had recently resigned as Police Commissioner and Superintendent Merv Beck placed in charge of the Gaming Squad.

It appeared that one of the partners, George, had received a tip of impending police action.

Only two weeks before, the police transcripts quote Ronnie assuring a big-time gambler invited to the game: ‘. . . There isn’t any problem. In fact, I know there isn’t. We wouldn’t be involved in it. We wouldn’t take the chance . . . Ron says can’t happen and won’t happen because we have a different concept here. Everybody that comes to us is someone we know. It is all recommended people and we are not looking to have mobs of people off the streets’.

Mobs or not, it was obviously lucrative while it lasted. Ronnie is recorded telling an associate of the figures for the previous night’s game. ‘The box took a fortune . . . They got approximately $4000 last night at the game and half goes to Fred possibly’. Fred, of course, being Paddles Anderson. On another occasion, the transcripts record a night’s take at $2200.

In the phone records, Paddles Anderson himself made it plain his interest was not to be known. The transcripts state that even one of the partners ‘at this stage knows nothing about Fred being involved’. Another mention of the secrecy states that ‘Fred points out that if (a person named) is in the game he is out because (he) cannot keep his mouth shut’.

In the wake of the closure of the Darling Point game, Ronnie is recorded telling an associate, a wealthy businessman friendly with a NSW Cabinet Minister, that ‘he has heard that in two or three weeks’ time there will be a certain relaxation . . .’ To which the businessman replies: ‘I am told that when Parliament sits they’ll be given something else to do, so it’s just this week and next week’.

Ronnie: When does Parliament go back?

Businessman: I think it’s the fourteenth. (first name of Minister) will be ringing me up. I thought it was him then. I’ll ask him.

In previous years, under a previous police regime, no such difficulties arose. According to the George Freeman transcripts, Freeman was able to tell casino proprietor Bruce Hardin in March 1976 that he was ‘sweet in town but he can assure Bruce that there will be a change of regime in the next few months . . . But things will be alright . . . though don’t tell that Big Fellow that but . . . From now on it will be better, not that it can be any better than it already is but will be better’.

In the same conversation, they are quoted as having discussed the setting up of a new club. Freeman is recorded as offering to get a roulette wheel ‘sent straight over from Vegas if they have trouble getting one’. Later, somebody else contacts him to get some dice from America.

On the same day, in another conversation with ‘My Friend’ (Stan ‘The Man’ Smith) the transcripts record a discussion about the acquisition of tables and roulette from other party who was previously manager of the 33 Club casino. The transcripts state: ‘They discuss how much he and others got out of 33 Club . . . some suggestive talk (police) that he saw down at Tattersalls, they straighten out some matters ????, after all, Target (police term for Freeman; the target of the tapping operation) gave him a big one at Christmas’.

The conversation goes into the setting up of the new club. According to the transcripts, ‘Target says it’s costing $36000 to get into it . . . Bruce is in it, you’re in my whack, six each . . .’ It was later recorded that $12000 towards their share of the $36000 purchase price was to be handed over the following Monday.

An interest is indicated in what happens at other casinos. A doctor friend is shown calling in advising that ‘some bloke put on a blue’ at the then flourishing Goulburn Club casino. He’s described as a pest. The records says: ‘Target suggests that they tell him that he will get his arse kicked if he acts up in there again. He’ll soon behave’.

In an earlier call to the same doctor, Freeman is stated to have instructed him that ‘when that fellow comes at 10.30 tomorrow he is not to take any of T’s money if he is going to employ any of those Japanese, Chinese or girls from Manila that Lennie brings in. He is also to consult with T before he employs any new doorman’.

A separate police informing sheet presented to authorities includes a reference that ‘Freeman and Smith are obviously dissatisfied with McPherson re Eurasian girls and doorman working at certain gambling clubs, also his outbursts on the commercial radio’.

The official NSW Police CIU report on Freeman tabled in the NSW Parliament (prepared following the phone-tap operation), states: ‘. . . Freeman has been observed to visit illegal casinos in Sydney of a night when parcels are carried out from the casinos, by employees of the casinos, and placed in the boot of his car’.

On another occasion, the earlier-mentioned associate of Abe Saffron did not fare too well — apparently when they got caught up in casino gambling in 1979.

On 31 March 1979, a friend, an immigration officer involved in SP betting and casinos on the side, is quoted on transcripts advising the Associate: ‘. . . um, John’s all set to go tomorrow night (opening a casino)’. A little later, he called again, complaining that somebody had rung up and said he was (policeman’s name) from the Gaming Squad, and had said, ‘Oh, don’t open there. Tell that bloke not to open there tomorrow night. Well, that’d be a lot of bullshit, wouldn’t it?’

Associate: Well, I don’t know, mate.

Caller: . . . Anyway, he’s going ahead and he’s opening, of course, tomorrow night. And I thought I’d better let you know.

Associate: But naturally I’m going to check it out.

He is then recorded as having telephoned Abe Saffron, who undertakes to check for him. In part, Saffron is quoted as saying, ‘The strange thing . . . He (the policeman) rang me yesterday and . . . Well, he’ll be ringing me soon’.

Later Saffron is reported telling the Associate: ‘That is right. I spoke to him. He can’t give me any reasons. But it can’t start. It’s all withdrawn. He said I’ll explain everything to you when I see you’.

Associate: Oh, strike!

Saffron: He said, I’ll tell you the whole story. You’ll understand when I tell you . . . But he said it will interest you a lot. But I’ll see you with (name of higher ranking policeman) if you like — whatever . . . But he said you will agree when you’re told.

Afterwards, the Associate passes on word to the would-be casino proprietor, John Yuen, not to open.

Associate: Yes, well John, I can’t tell you why . . . I will be told on Tuesday why it can’t be opened tonight. That’s all I can say.

Yuen: So you tell me to lay off in effect? Until Tuesday, is it?

Associate: I don’t know. I’ll know the reason. I don’t know whether you can open or not . . . Well, there’s nothing we can do, because I’m going to be given a list of reasons, and I’m sure they are going to be pretty strong ones. Okay?

Yuen: Yeah.

Associate: Okay, I’m sorry, John.

Yuen: Goodnight.

Associate: Okay.

The transcripts record that the Associate is advised through a friend that Yuen later offers a porposition, which prompts the Associate to immediately telephone Saffron.

‘What’s happening to me’, he is quoted as saying, ‘is (Yuen) wants to see me urgently because he wants to put an offer to us that we can’t refuse, he reckons’.

Saffron appears noncommittal.

Associate: You and I have always laid things on the line with one another. If the thing’s a nuisance to you or anything like that, you, I’d like you to say.

Saffron: What I’ll do when I see him, I’ll convey . . .

Associate: I mean this . . . this is huge money down here. You’ve got no bloody idea. This is a bloody gold mine this place, and I can see I’ve got a complete answer to you.

The transcripts state that the Associate refers to a proposition from Yuen involving a possible amalgamation or takeover of three illegal casinos. And adds: ‘This is bigger than the 33. Now, I know what I’m talking about. We just cannot afford to let this go to some f . . . . . . mug that we don’t know’.

There is considerable talk recorded on what percentage interest they might have, and what interest they might leave Yuen with.

According to the transcripts, the Associate told Saffron: ‘Oh, I just spoke to that fellow this morning and I said, “Look, I might be able to pull you out of the fire. But if I ever hear you open your mouth again, you’ll be out of no fire”‘.

Saffron: So you’ve just got everything going nicely . . . Associate: I said, I’m going to have to make a very tough bargain with you . . . He’s put himself in. We can drag him out and then I’ll give him six rules to live by. And that’s the end of it. If he don’t play by the rules, he’s out.

Saffron: Oh, that’s beautiful.

The Associate then, according to the transcript, proposed to tell Yuen that $10000 was required for openers and that he would have only a 25 per cent interest.

Saffron: . . . if I make it like that I’ll clench the deal . . . I’ll have to put it up front.

Associate: Oh, immediate payment . . .

Saffron: I did tell (policeman’s name) I was going to do it through (another policeman’s name, of higher rank). But again I do as I’m told, and you’re the three. You, (higher ranking policeman) and Yuen . . . you’re the three.

The transcripts then record the Associate telephoning Yuen: ‘. . . this is going to be the deal. You will have no partners. You will be a member of a syndicate of which you will have 25 per cent. That’s take it or leave it . . .

Yuen: Alright.

Associate: Now, it’ll be terribly, terribly strong, because there’s 75 per cent will be distributed to top quarters . . . And one of the things is — we may have to offer a figure of up to ten for the premises to open.

Yuen: Okay. No problem . . .

The Associate is recorded as having got back onto Saffron, advising of his conversation with Yuen, adding: ‘I mean, you know what to do. Okay?’

Saffron: Well . . . there will be 75 per cent. Will I have 25 per cent to give away?

Associate: Oh, yes, you’ll have 25 to give away, right.

Saffron: You know who I’m giving it to.

Associate: Number one, of course.

Saffron: That’s the only answer, of course.

Later, the Associate is quoted telling Saffron: ‘Look, the more I think of this, the more I think this must be pulled off, because we are only going to give it on a platter to somebody else’.

Saffron: If it is not, I’d be very surprised.

Associate: Yeah. And I can tell you now, you have been to the aquarium and seen the dolphins perform, haven’t you?

Saffron: He’s the same.

Associate: I would say that this fellow will perform. He will be my pet dolphin because one foot out of line, and off goes his head.

Saffron: That’s it.

There is a lull of several days in the wheelings and dealings pending the outcome of a conference between Saffron and police contacts.

But in the meantime, according to the transcripts, the Associate is contacted by an associate reporting trouble over a casino in which they are interested at Albury. The associate complains that a policeman telephoned the casino landlord ordering him to have the casino shut or it would be raided. He relates that the landlord later confronted the policeman, accusing him of being a ‘puppet’ for a rival casino at Albury. Mention is made of a more senior officer being on the payroll of the other casino, The Silver Cue, ‘so it’s not hard to see what the tie-up is there’.

The Associate is recorded informing Saffron of the situation. Saffron says he knows the senior officer mentioned, and adds: ‘I’m having a phone call this morning and I will be able to tell him what’s going on’.

Later Saffron advises of a gentleman arriving for a meeting, and there is a proposal for the two feuding casinos at Albury to amalgamate, on a fifty-fifty basis.

Saffron is recorded asking which premises the merged casino should operate from.

Associate: I’d say the Cue is the best address (according to a report in Albury’s Border Morning Mail, it was situated in a first-floor club in Dean Street), or whichever place is designated by the authorities. Whatever they say, we are in their hands. If they say go to A we go to A. If they say go to B we go to B. We’ll put our man in. They shake hands and work for the common cause and they split it right down the middle. Don’t want to hear any of that nonsense of who’s got what. With one common enterprise they should be able to really set up an organisation there.

The next day, 12 April 1979, the Associate is recorded receiving a guarded call from Saffron, saying it was ‘quite important’ that they have a talk off the phone.

Associate: I can’t be given a hint?

Saffron: No, but it’s quite important.

Associate: Well, just answer this — can we do any business up there?

Saffron: Oh, no, no . . . but it is very important that we talk. I want to talk to you about something especially and I want to ask you a few things.

Associate: Oh, righto then. Well, that sort of leaves me on a cliff hanger.

Saffron: I don’t want to leave you on a cliff hanger, but it does appear that some conversation has been on a crossed line and I must talk to you about that.

Associate: Oh, I see, some conversation . . .

Saffron: Yes, it took place on the telephone and has been recorded.

Associate: Jees, I hope it doesn’t concern you and I.

Saffron: So as soon as we talk about it the better . . . Well, naturally, I can’t discuss it on the telephone, but when I see you I will.

And so the tapping was stopped, at least temporarily.

Who tipped off Saffron nobody knows, except that it was suspected that it might have been a senior police officer briefed on the intelligence gathered from what was supposed to have been a secret tapping operation.

From the subsequent police tapping of Saffron’s associate’s phone transcripts reveal that the deal apparently came unstuck. For a conversation recorded 5 April 1980, police noted that ‘Abe Saffron gets a mention about a casino he could not open’.

Nobody, it seems, regardless of their reputation or connections, could expect a trouble-free run in getting into the casinos business unless they complied with the workings of the system as enunciated by underworld patriarch Paddles Anderson.

Those transcripts of the NSW police tap on the phone of the office used by Anderson and ‘Ronnie’ certainly illustrate the reality of how organised crime works.

Towards the middle of June 1979, the transcripts record Anderson laying down the law over a move by Chinese gambling interests in setting up a new casino in Chinatown in Sydney.

It was just two months after the recorded wheelings and dealings of Saffron, involving the same Chinatown gambling scene.

Paddles complains about the role of a prominent businessman (since charged with corruption on other matters) in assisting them.

‘He’ll get himself into trouble’, warned Paddles, ‘. . . apparently they’ve done the wrong f . . . . . . thing down that place . . . Oh, I wouldn’t be in their f . . . . . . shoes’.

Asked by his associate Ronnie what they had done wrong, he responded: ‘Well, they’ve started a f . . . . . . joint without discussing it with the other people, and pinched the game off the other bloke where somebody was getting a f . . . . . . quid there, and they haven’t discussed it with the people that’s getting the quid there . . . they just don’t care, they go to the highest bidder, them blokes.’

Ronnie: Right.

Anderson: But they still worry about their quid being hurt.

Ronnie: I agree with you, Fred.

Fred Anderson
Fred Anderson

Anderson: They are not businessmen, they’re f . . . . . . the only way they can get a quid is working for someone. They’re f . . . . . . hit men, understand what I mean?

Ronnie: Well, what do you want . . . what should I do with him?

Anderson: Not when they do them silly things. They can do it f . . . . . . properly. They’ve got to discuss it.

Ronnie: Right, he’s supposed to go to someone and arrange something. I mean, he can’t just do what he’s doing.

Anderson: I know that he can’t go to anyone and arrange it. See, that’s something I do know. He can’t go to anybody at all and just arrange that. He might go to somebody and they’ll use him up and say, yeah, we’ll fix that up. But they f . . . . . . can’t.

Ronnie: Well, who are they supposed to go to? I mean, I would like to do him a turn, and if he’s making a mistake tell him: Listen, don’t get involved in things you don’t know about.

Anderson: Well, he’s gotta ask yer, and I would probably do youse a favour and put you onto McPherson, because he’s doing the business with . . . There’s only one reason they’ll keep their head out will he on account of You (police note: or Yuen). You’re only saving him for nothing. Wouldn’t matter if he was knocked off tomorrow . . . They don’t know the workings of the town, that’s the trouble.

Ronnie: When I had lunch with George Walker (proprietor of the Goulburn Club casino) and him, and this Chinese guy says to George, “Can you close up these other guys?” George says to him, “What, are you sick or something? What are you mad. What do you want to close these people up for? What, are you taking over the town?”

Anderson: Anyway, you can’t interfere if the coppers are giving him a go. You can’t interfere with them. But I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the mob . . . the mob is worse than the f . . . . . . coppers.

Ronnie: The guy that I mentioned, was that the name?

Anderson: Yes, but that was only . . . He was f . . . . . . nothing. He’s well down the ladder, you know what I mean.

The transcripts record that Ronnie then talked to the businessman, and reported back to Anderson: ‘I told him that it was a matter of urgency to tell the Chinese guy to speak to your person. I said, “Look, you are a very important person, you’re messing around with bullshit; for a monkey a week, you’re just acting like an idiot”. So he said, “Well, I’ll tell him” and I said, “please do”‘.

When the businessman called back, he is quoted as saying, ‘Ah, when I mentioned that top man, oh, they said, we got him. They mentioned a name . . . the first initial is L.’

Ronnie: That’s it, yeah. Okay, that’s the same person.

Businessman: They said, “Look, we wouldn’t be without him”.

Ronnie: Oh, they are dealing with him?

Businessman: They’re dealing with him.

Ronnie: Well, then, that’s it — forget about it.

Businessman: And they threatened somebody who they were getting rid of and have got rid of . . . threatened to get the other fella.

Ronnie: Well, the other fella is a power head . . . I was at a party with that particular fella, the fella that you know I know, at his house, and the other little fella was there, he’s a little fella, and he was there and they’re friends. It’s all the same group.

(A later notation mentions that the Chinese gamblers interests were ‘going to offer Lennie $500 a week, but Fred knows that Lennie is going to ask for a grand anyway’.)

The businessman is then recorded as saying: ‘Everything went well. They had their first week. They gave me what they told me they would, for you and me, and I have that . . . What the future is there, I don’t know . . . they want a few . . . the fellow that I deal with’s uncle really runs Macao . . . He is trying to do the same thing here, let’s face it . . . and being very respectable and very nice about it’.

Ronnie: Well, let me tell you something. If he’s got that in mind, he’s gonna have a very short life span. It won’t last . . . You don’t take over other people’s things . . .


From Connections 1 by Bob Bottom