Plot to steal body of gangland boss’ sister sparks revenge fears

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Plot to steal body of gangland boss’ sister sparks revenge fears

By Chris Vedelago

Gangland rivals of crime boss George Marrogi were apparently trying to steal his sister’s body when they broke into a Melbourne cemetery at the weekend.

The desecration of the grave of Meshilin “Mesh” Marrogi is suspected of being aimed at her brother, who has been embroiled in a series of long-running and bloody feuds with rivals in the underworld and inside prison where he is serving a minimum 32-year sentence for murder and drug trafficking.

The grave of Meshilin Marrogi, the sister of convicted killer and Notorious Crime Family boss George Marrogi.

The grave of Meshilin Marrogi, the sister of convicted killer and Notorious Crime Family boss George Marrogi.

Three underworld and police sources, with knowledge of the circumstances of the incident but not authorised to speak publicly, told The Age the break-in early on Sunday at Preston General Cemetery appeared to be a botched attempt to take Meshilin’s body.

The unidentified suspects forced open the crypt cover and removed her coffin, but could not move it to the mausoleum’s lower level after discovering the elevator was broken.


Instead, the suspects forced open the coffin and are believed to have removed objects the 30-year-old had been buried with, potentially including expensive jewellery. Her body was otherwise untouched.

Meshilin died after contracting COVID-19 in 2021.

Underworld sources suspect the aborted attempt to steal the body of Marrogi’s beloved sister was part of a plot to punish or potentially extort money from the founder of drug trafficking gang, the Notorious Crime Family.

The defilement of her grave has been condemned by a wide range of underworld players, who didn’t want to speak publicly for fear of further upsetting the family. They said the would-be thieves were seeking “retribution against George” but had gone “way, way too far”.


“No one has ever done anything like this ever. It just shows how low these c---s are. George is hated, absolutely hated in there [prison], but this is next level,” an underworld source said.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said it appeared a specific coffin was the target of the break-in because no other graves inside the mausoleum had been disturbed.

George Marrogi’s partner Antonietta Mannella (left) and late sister, Meshilin.

George Marrogi’s partner Antonietta Mannella (left) and late sister, Meshilin.Credit: Instagram

“Detectives are following up a number of avenues of inquiry and are yet to rule anything out at this early stage in the investigation,” she said.

Police said they were speaking with the family’s legal representatives to determine what items might have been damaged or potentially stolen from the crypt.


“Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report,” police said.

The violation of Meshilin’s final resting place is an unprecedented transgression in the history of Australian organised crime, which usually considers family members off limits for retribution.

Funerals and burial sites are also typically considered safe spaces, with some notable exceptions when they are targeted directly at gangland figures or informers.

This includes a 2022 shooting attack against Marrogi associate Sam “The Punisher” Abdulrahim as he was driving away from a funeral in Fawkner. Hits have also been planned – and foiled – against crime figures who were visiting the graves of friends and associates. Headstones of underworld figures suspected of informing have also been vandalised in the past, although their bodies remained sacrosanct.

The shocking incident is threatening to spark payback from the remnants of Marrogi’s Notorious Crime Family gang, whose former members are conducting an intensive search for the culprits.

Marrogi has a lengthy list of enemies from his near-full lifetime in crime and prison, with the now 34-year-old spending as little as 12 months outside jail since he turned 16.

Meshilin Marrogi’s resting place.

Meshilin Marrogi’s resting place.Credit: Facebook

The Notorious Crime Family founder, a former bikie, became embroiled in a tit-for-tat shooting war with rival drug traffickers, standover crews and personal rivals that led to numerous shootings and murders in the past decade.

In 2016, Marrogi was arrested for murdering rival Kadir Ors in the parking lot of an Officeworks, which came after Marrogi was suspected of shooting underworld figure Nabil Maghnie only days before. Maghnie was killed in 2020 in an apparently unrelated dispute.

A number of underworld figures that were engaged in bloody disputes with Marrogi in the past have recently been released from prison. Police sources say they hold mounting concerns that there could be a fresh outbreak of violence between organised crime groups as a result.

Marrogi founded the Notorious Crime Family from inside prison in 2019. The gang ran significant drug importation and trafficking networks, money-laundering operations and a fraud syndicate.

Beginning in 2021, Victoria Police and the Australian Federal Police dismantled the gang in a series of operations that seized $55 million worth of methamphetamine and heroin and froze tens of millions of dollars worth of property, cash, cars, and a yacht alleged to be the proceeds of drug crime and money-laundering.

Marrogi received a 32-year sentence in 2022 for the murder of Ors. Another 16 years were added after pleading guilty to drug trafficking earlier this year.

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