Alex Vella

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Alessio Emmanuel "Alex" Vella (born 1954[1]), or The Maltese Falcon,[2] is a Maltese-Australian businessman, former boxer and National President of the Rebels Motorcycle Club. Despite having lived in Australia since the 1960s, he is not a citizen of the country. This caused visa problems when he tried to return to Australia after having gone to Japan with his son Adam (also a boxer) for a boxing match.[3] Though the NSW Police tried to bar him from re-entering the country, he was eventually allowed to return.[4]

Vella was born into a strict Catholic family in Malta and was one of eleven children. His parents lived in a cave with no electricity and a well for water. He began work at the age of eight, carrying buckets of water on a building site for 30 cents a day, and is functionally illiterate. He and his family then moved to Australia in the 1960s and established a strawberry farm near Horsley Park, New South Wales. In his 20s, he sometimes worked two or three jobs at a time; as a bouncer, labourer and bricklayer. He also joined the Rebels Motorcycle Club while pursuing a promising career as a boxer; he eventually became the Maltese light-heavyweight champion. After a serious road accident, he received $225,000 in compensation and used this money to set up a business importing and selling motorcycles. In 1990, police found a $15,000 stash of marijuana while searching his home, which they believed to be a methamphetamine factory. He received a fairly light sentence: 18-months of two-nights-a-week prison, and two-days-a-week community service. He has also been arrested, but not convicted, of a number of other crimes including stabbing two men and assaulting a woman. He was freed on appeal after being given six months in jail for the latter.[5]

On May 28, 2008, Vella won a court case against the ANZ Bank. He sued them for $2.7 million after his former business partner, Tony Caradonna, re-mortgaged three properties, including the Rebels' club house, for $2.4 million by falsifying Vella's signature. He also claimed $300,000 was fraudulently withdrawn from their joint bank account.[6]


  1. ^ "Bikie boss wins $2.4m fraud case". 2008-05-28. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  2. ^ "Rebels boss stranded in Japan". Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  3. ^ "Bikie leader stranded in Japan". 2007-03-22. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  4. ^ Bikie gang rebel back
  5. ^ "Alex Vella, the millionaire bikie". Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  6. ^ "Head of the Rebels bikie gang wins multi-million-dollar lawsuit against ANZ Bank". 2008-05-28. Retrieved 2011-10-10.