19 September 2023

Body armour, suspected pill press found in raid on bikie affiliates, police allege

| Albert McKnight
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man in hoodie leaves court flanked by two lawyers

Domenico Luca Costanzo (centre) leaves court with his lawyers Michael Kukulies-Smith (left) and Michael Amscitti (right) of Kamy Saeedi Law after being granted bail. Photo: Albert McKnight.

Two men accused of being connected to the Finks bikie gang have been hit with allegations over body armour, throwing evidence off a balcony and refusing to cooperate with a court order.

Police raided Domenico Luca Costanzo’s home in Gungahlin early on Tuesday morning (12 September) where they found both him and Yazin Al Naqib, court documents say.

While officers were searching the apartment, it is alleged Costanzo covered his mouth and gestured that he needed to vomit. Officers asked if they could get him a bowl. He allegedly said, “one in there”, while pointing towards the kitchen.

But when they went into the kitchen, they allegedly saw him pick up a nearby mobile phone, run towards the balcony and throw it from the 13th-story apartment to the ground below. He was arrested for allegedly destroying evidence.

During their search, police said they found items related to drug trafficking, including what is suspected to be a pill press.

It is also alleged a body armour ballistic vest with protective plates, or a bulletproof jacket, was found in Costanzo’s bedroom. He allegedly said he’d bought it as a costume and didn’t think it was a real ballistic vest.

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Police also found a laptop and mobile phone that Al Naqib allegedly said were his. However, he reportedly refused to comply with a request to give officers the passcodes to his devices despite being aware of the search warrant order requiring him to do so.

Costanzo, 28, was charged with perverting the course of justice and possessing a prohibited item, while 35-year-old Al Naqib was handed a charge of refusing to comply with an order made by a magistrate.

Police alleged Costanzo was affiliated with the Finks and Al Naqib was a member of the gang, the ACT Magistrates Court heard when the pair appeared there on Wednesday (13 September).

It is alleged Costanzo was seen wearing a Finks jumper in July 2023. Also, police alleged officers had been speaking to a person wearing Finks’ clothing in Gungahlin earlier in September 2023 when a man suspected of being the Canberra Finks president approached the person and “took control” of them, moving them away from the officers.

Police allege others were wearing Finks clothing nearby, including Costanzo.

Domenico Luca Costanzo (left) will return to court next month. Photo: Albert McKnight.

The two men applied to be released on bail, which the prosecutor opposed.

Al Naqib’s barrister James Maher said it had not been suggested that his client was a high-level outlaw motorcycle gang member and he argued that mere affiliation with those gangs should not cause courts to refuse bail.

Costanzo’s lawyer, Michael Kukulies-Smith of Kamy Saeedi Law, said the prosecution’s concerns that there was a likelihood of his client reoffending or interfering with the investigation were “very speculative”.

He also said while there was a suggestion that drug paraphernalia had been found during the police’s search warrant, no charges had been laid over these allegations.

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The prosecutor said police had reported the items seized were being tested and hoped more charges would be laid. He did say some items were found in the common areas of the apartment.

Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker ultimately said there was not enough evidence to support either of the prosecution’s concerns for Costanzo. She granted him bail under conditions such as living in Gungahlin and not contacting several people, including Al Naqib.

Yazin Al Naqib (left) leaves court with his lawyer, Peter Woodhouse of Aulich, on Tuesday. Photo: Albert McKnight.

However, when it came to Al Naqib, who is also from Gungahlin, she said the allegation that he had refused access to his devices after being given an order by a magistrate to do so was “very clear disobedience of the law” and she had reservations about him complying with bail conditions.

Bail was refused and he was remanded in custody. The two matters were adjourned until 4 October for pleas or mentions.

But Al Naqib, represented by Peter Woodhouse from Aulich, applied for bail again on Tuesday (19 September) where it was granted.

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