THE clean-cut world of shipping got an insight this week into the so-called ‘Melbourne underworld’ – a world of mobsters, drug dealers, crooked cops and shady lawyers.

Providing the insights was veteran crime journalist and Walkley Award winners John Silvester, also an adviser to the producers of the Underbelly television series, who spoke at the Shipping Australia Victoria-Branch Christmas lunch.


The lunch took place at Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, about as blueblood as it gets in Melbourne and seemingly a world away from the acts of criminality being described.

Eve He and Julius Danielczak at the SAL lunch. Credit: David Sexton

Mr Silvester spoke at length about “colourful characters: including mobster Tony Mokbel who famously escaped in a yacht. Mokbel was later arrested in Greece and extradited back to Victoria where he is now doing time at Barwon Prison.

Dragan Jankovic and Chris Schultz. Credit: David Sexton

Other stories related to Carl Williams and Graham ‘The Munster’ Kinniburgh, a former rigger turned safe breaker famously gunned down in the driveway of his Kew home during the Gangland Wars.