Bandidos Michael Kulakowski aka Mick K with his girlfriend at the time Angela in 1997. Picture: Craig Borrow
Bandidos Michael Kulakowski aka Mick K with his girlfriend at the time Angela in 1997. Picture: Craig Borrow

Sex, drugs, crime: Underworld life of bikie ‘Kaos’

DUNCAN McNab is a former NSW police detective, who has lifted the lid on bad bikie behaviour while he was on the beat.

He has now shared the life of Michael 'Kaos' Kulakowski, who says his nickname did not describe him well. Here is Mr McNab's first-hand account of Kaos.

The Bandidos nicknamed him Kaos, but the opposite was the case. Michael 'Kaos' Kulakowski was smart, organised, entrepreneurial and astute.

The former Australian Army officer from a well to do family, graduated top of his class at Kapooka (near Wagga Wagga) but quickly bored with life in a peacetime Army, rather than try his talents in business or politics, he was lured by the challenges and camaraderie of the Bandidos - club motto "F*** the world. We are the people your parents warned you about."

The club started in Texas in 1966 when a group of disenfranchised Vietnam veterans saw the wild lives of the Hells Angels portrayed in the writings of Hunter S Thompson and thought they could do better. Lives of sex, drugs, and crime followed.

Their first overseas club was in Sydney - and within a year they were seared into history by the Milperra Massacre, when they battled the Comanchero gang in a pub car park on Father's Day 1984. In a quirk of the biker lifestyle, events like Milperra promote rather than discourage membership.

One of the new recruits was Michael 'Kaos' Kulakowski.

He quickly rose to National President and revolutionised the gang's operations, particularly in the highly lucrative amphetamine business.

He also was one of the nations busiest wildlife smugglers, specialising in reptiles.

Drug and wildlife trafficking are complimentary business often using similar routes and networks. A mate of Kaos told me

"MKK was the master of camouflage. That c***. The things that man got away with were just incredible."

Kulakowski was prominent on the world stage, using his diplomatic skills to broker a peace in the Great Nordic War fought between the Bandidos and Hells Angels for dominance in the European drug market.

The deal broke Europe into regions in which the gangs could operate, and it was all about money.

Closer to home, he sent emissaries to south East Asia - fertile ground for drug manufacturing and trafficking, and to launder the oceans of cash. One of his great achievements was keeping his outlaw bikers off the front pages.

Rule one of successful crime- don't paint a target on your back.

Michael Kulakowski came from a well to do family
Michael Kulakowski came from a well to do family
Michael Kulakowski was a former Australian Army officer.
Michael Kulakowski was a former Australian Army officer.

But Michael Kulakowski's dazzling future in one of the world's most successful crime gangs came to an abrupt end on 10 November 1997, in a dingy cellar in Sydney's grimy inner city suburb of Chippendale.

That night Kaos and colleagues Ricky de Stoop, Robin David and Sasha Milenkovic, arrived at the Blackmarket Nightclub in Regent Street, a drab black painted Victorian building housing a venue favoured by the hard core party crowd.

The place rocked until dawn and there were ample drugs on the dance floor. The Bandidos were there to chat with Constantine Georgiou, a Porsche driving unemployed man from Bondi, and Bruce Harrison, a tattooist from Darlinghurst. Both were members of the Rebels outlaw club which had control of the club's door.

In the drug world, whoever has the door, makes their money from drugs.

Bandidos members carry slain leader Michael Kulakowski's after he was killed in the Black Market ambush in 1997.
Bandidos members carry slain leader Michael Kulakowski's after he was killed in the Black Market ambush in 1997.

The Bandidos had nearby Kings Cross as their turf, so it was likely Kulakowski had a mutually beneficial plan in mind. The two Rebels had a different one.

Around 1am, the Bandidos met the Rebels in the cellar and the chat was brief. The Rebels, armed with a Beretta and Smith and Wesson pistols, opened fire, fatally wounding Kulakowski, de Stoop and Milenkovic.

Robin David managed to escape with a minor wound. The sound of gunfire didn't register above the music pounding on the dance floor, but a few in the crowd noticed Harrison and Georgiou run from the club to their get away car - Georgiou's silver Porsche, which wasn't the best choice for the job.

Someone called triple-0 and gave a description of the car and fleeing felons.

Michael Kulakowski dazzling future in one of the world’s most successful crime gangs came to an abrupt end on 10 November 1997. Picture: Craig Borrow
Michael Kulakowski dazzling future in one of the world’s most successful crime gangs came to an abrupt end on 10 November 1997. Picture: Craig Borrow
Bandidos, friends and relatives at funeral of slain bikie gang leader Michael Kulakowski.
Bandidos, friends and relatives at funeral of slain bikie gang leader Michael Kulakowski.

A passing police car got the message, spotted the Porsche and took off in pursuit. When planning a crime, always plan a low-key exit.

The pair dumped the guns on the street in Surry Hills, then did the same with the Porsche. Both men were arrested, with Georgiou being dragged off a ship in Botany Bay where he'd hoped to get to Japan and enter on a fake UK passport. Both men were convicted of the killings.

In the days following the executions, outlaws and police alike were waiting for a gang war to erupt, but didn't.

One lesson learned from the Europeans was war is bad for business. But a few years later that wisdom would be overwhelmed by testosterone fuelled greed.

Bandidos boss Michael Kulakowski was killed at a cafe during the 1997 shooting.
Bandidos boss Michael Kulakowski was killed at a cafe during the 1997 shooting.

Duncan McNab is a former NSW Police detective, award-winning journalist and author of eleven best-selling books including the recent Roger Rogerson (Hachette 2016)



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