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Wednesday, 1 October 2008

New Canadian Rock Machine chapter. Michael Xanthoudakis and Eneliko Sabine told customs officials they had arrived for a week-long fishing trip

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Michael Xanthoudakis and Eneliko Sabine told customs officials they had arrived for a week-long fishing trip and were planning to meet up with an Internet buddy, who they only knew as "J.D."Police believe they had other plans.The residents of Sydney had flown halfway around the world at the invitation of several bikers in Western Canada who are in the process of setting up a new Canadian Rock Machine chapter.
According to police they were all planning to meet last week in Gimli, Man., to begin mapping out the process, but plans were scuttled when suspicious customs agents began asking questions and eventually began searching their luggage. Inside they found several biker vests, flags and other paraphernalia.Gimli is in south-central Manitoba.Xanthoudakis and Sabine were detained in custody Sept. 19 after it was learned both men had criminal records in Australia.Xanthoudakis was convicted in December 1999 of assaulting a police officer, while Sabine has a 2006 conviction for impaired driving. They are not facing any new charges in Canada.The facts surrounding their arrest and detention were laid out for the first time Monday during an immigration hearing. There was no publication ban.A government lawyer said Canadian police had recently circulated a national bulletin warning of the impending resurrection of the Rock Machine and the rumoured meeting in Gimli. Police were told to be on guard for any foreign bikers who may be travelling to Canada.Daphne Shaw-Dyck, a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board, ordered both men to be deported as quickly as possible after finding they have no legal grounds to be in Canada. She also rejected their bid to be released into the community pending the deportation, which is expected to happen later this week.Ed Rice, a defence lawyer acting on behalf of Xanthoudakis and Sabine, said the men were hoping to be "out on the streets" for the duration of their stay in Canada.He expects them to be deported later this week, once security issues can be worked out with the airlines regarding their flight back to Sydney.Shaw-Dyck agreed with the federal government's claim that the men - and the gang they represent - pose a significant risk to public safety.The federal government cited the Rock Machine's dark history in Canada, which included links to 150 murders in Quebec during a violent turf war in the 1990s.
Among those victims were two prison guards and an 11-year-old boy hit by shrapnel from a car bomb.The Rock Machine was absorbed into the Bandidos in 2000.Several members actually joined the Hells Angels when the Bandidos refused to immediately grant full-patch status to them.The immigration hearing was told Monday the new western Canadian Rock Machine will be headed up by Winnipeg biker Ron Burling, who recently was sentenced to eight years in prison for a drug-related kidnapping in which the victim was tortured.Burling, the former leader of the now-defunct Manitoba Bandidos, lost an appeal earlier this summer and ended up leaving court on a stretcher after he launched into a bizarre outburst and then began clutching his chest.Rice said the "new" Rock Machine will be nothing like the one Canadians grew to fear and will simply be a club of motorcycle riding enthusiasts who will frown upon criminal behaviour. Both the government and Shaw-Dyck expressed doubts about that claim, noting Burling's violent past."I find it very difficult for that claim to be made," said Shaw-Dyck, who noted that one of the Canadian bikers who met Xanthoudakis and Sabine at the Winnipeg airport was arrested after being found carrying marijuana.Xanthoudakis and Sabine must return before the Immigration and Review Board for another hearing if they have not been deported within seven days

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