By Keith Moor
A Kiwi bikie gang boss, notorious in Australia, who has been deported to New Zealand, is the latest high profile criminal to be kicked out of the country.
Rebels gang boss Aaron "AJ" Graham landed in Auckland this afternoon, and appeared to have left the airport through a side door.
He joins Brownlow medallist Dustin Martin's father Shane as one of the many bikie bosses kicked out of Australia.
Graham was deported to his native New Zealand today - despite last month winning a High Court appeal against his second visa cancellation.
Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton cancelled Graham's visa for a third time within hours of the September 6 High Court decision that his earlier visa cancellation decision was invalid.
Graham is the latest bikie gang member to be kicked out of Australia by Dutton.
He did so under his wide-ranging powers to cancel the visas of foreign-born criminals on character grounds, which include if they have a substantial criminal record or they are suspected of being a member of a group involved in criminal conduct.
The Herald Sun has been told law enforcement and other agencies have provided Dutton with ample evidence - including telephone tap material - that bikie gangs are heavily involved in violence and other crimes ranging from drug dealing to murder.
Graham, 50, the founding member of the Rebels bikie gang's Tasmanian chapter, was escorted on to an Air New Zealand flight in Sydney today and flown to Auckland.
However, he did not leave the airport through the arrivals lounge. The Herald understands he was directed out through a side door.
He was one of the bikie gang leaders and office holders swept up during the same Federal Government crackdown which saw fellow senior Rebels member Shane Martin, 50, also deported to Auckland.
"What we know of outlaw motorcycle gang members is that they are the biggest distributors of ice and amphetamines in our country," Dutton said yesterday.
"They import, they manufacture and they distribute it, and they are otherwise involved in serious crime, including providing muscle for the CFMEU on building sites around the country."
The Herald Sun revealed in August that the unprecedented blitz on foreign-born criminals has seen more than 2800 of them ordered to leave Australia in the past three years.
Dutton yesterday told Parliament that number has now grown to more than 3000.
Rebels members Graham and Martin are among the 154 senior bikies to have had their Australian visas cancelled since 2014.
Dutton told the Herald Sun in August he was determined to rid Australia of foreign-born bikies whenever his powers enabled him to do so.
"Criminal motorcycle gang members don't have jobs or pay taxes - they sell drugs, run prostitutes, steal, extort and kill," he said.
"Why would we want them living among law-abiding, decent people?"
Graham's convictions include him being jailed for 15 months in 2009 over a vicious attack on a teenage insurance fraud investigator.
The terrified 19-year-old was made to sit on a chair in front of Graham's suburban Hobart home and told by Graham to look at the Rebels flag flying on top of the unit.
As he did so Graham punched him twice in the face, knocking him off the chair, and then continued punching and kicking the teenager before poking him in the eye with a radio aerial.
The blitz on bikies and other foreign-born criminals which resulted in Graham and Martin being among those deported began after changes were made to migration laws in December 2014.
Dutton was given greater powers to cancel the visas of foreign-born people who fail to meet minimum character standards, or who have been convicted of an offence involving a jail term of more than 12 months.
Being a member or associate of an organisation reasonably suspected of being involved in crime is sufficient for Dutton to cancel a visa for failing to meet character standards - and bikie gangs fall into that category.
There were recently more changes to the Migration Act, which the Herald Sun last month revealed were made to keep Martin - and up to 20 others whose visas were cancelled based on secret information from police and intelligence agencies - from re-entering Australia.
Richmond great Dustin Martin and his family had been hoping Graham last month winning his High Court appeal would mean Shane Martin could return to Melbourne in time to see his son play in the AFL finals.
That hope was dashed by the latest amendment to the Migration Act.
Dutton's office recently defended the amendment and the decision to prevent Martin returning to Australia.
"Shane Martin's visa was cancelled for the safety of the Australian community because of his criminal record and association with outlaw motorcycle gangs," a statement from Dutton's office said.
"This amendment ensures that people who are outlaw motorcycle gang members, organised criminals and threats to national security cannot stay in Australia."
Graham and Martin aren't the only Rebels bikies to have had their visas cancelled.
Maltese-born Australian Rebels national president Alex Vella and Britain-born Geelong Rebels chapter senior member Danny Mousley also became victims of the blitz to rid Australia of bikie gang office holders.
Graham, who moved to Australia from New Zealand as a child in 1976, was first ordered out of the country in June 2015 and he was then thrown into detention by immigration officials, where he remained until his deportation today.
He won a June 2016 Federal court challenge to quash Dutton's initial deportation decision.
That prompted Dutton to use his ministerial power to overturn the Federal Court decision and cancel Graham's visa for the second time, saying it was in the "national interest" to do so.
Graham then lodged a constitutional challenge in the High Court.
The High Court last month ruled in Graham's favour, but that didn't stop Dutton cancelling Graham's visa for a third time and today booting him out of Australia.
Graham has a minor criminal history in New Zealand.
In a statement, police said they were "aware of Graham and his background, however we do not comment on arrangements regarding specific individuals being returned to New Zealand".