low with Renees boys
not often a really fun job comes a PIs way, so when I was approached
to tail one of Renee Rivkins business associates on
what purported to be a high-country trout fishing holiday I jumped at
drive-by of his Eastern Suburbs home confirmed that the subject would
be driving a red Jeep Cherokee and towing a classy camper-trailer. I
figured hed probably start at Tumut and make his way into Kosciuszko
National Park by the Snowy Mountains Highway and when I confirmed hed
left Sydney, Joadja and I set off in a little rented campervan. As we
drove down the Hume Highway I got Jo to make a few deft phone calls
to motels, posing as the subjects absent-minded secretary, anxious
to confirm that shed arranged his booking. Bingo! An understanding
lady at the The Elms Motor Inn in Tumut said he was booked in there.
got a room up the road at the Oriental Hotel, from which we could watch
the driveway of the The Elms, and easily picked up his tail in the morning.
fact the whole job was a snip. It wasnt necessary to keep the
subject in sight, we just moseyed on down the road, checking out each
camping area, until we found him at Geehi, trying his luck in Swampy
Plains River. We moved into a spot nearby and did a lot of birdwatching
--which is a perfect cover for surveillance. It wasnt even necessary
to avoid being seen by the subject. Kosci doesnt get that many
campers in March so travellers think nothing of bumping into the same
folk at different camping spots.
weather was beautiful and nothing interesting happened until Thredbo,
where the subject made a few phone calls from a pay phone. That evening
we tailed him to the Thredbo Diggings Camping Area and set up about
fifty metres away, partly obscured by a little stand of snow gums.
that evening, a balding man driving a rented car visited our subject.
This was the moment Id been waiting for. I videoed the whole thing
from inside the van and, it being a beautiful evening, they even obliged
by sitting outside, around the campfire. Jo strolled past them on her
way to the toilets and reported that the balding man had a Swiss accent.
I had what the client needed, but we stayed the night and left after
the subject departed next morning.
so much as a newspaper or a phone call, we had been out of contact with
what passes for human civilization for almost two weeks, so when we
reached Sydney late that afternoon and I opened the pile of newspapers
on my desk, the world seemed the same, but oddly different.
had slipped a notch or two for Rivkin. The Caroline Byrne murder investigation
was casting an eerie new light on the Offset Alpine case, and most of
the celebrity stockbrokers friends in politics, business and the
media had left town.
was Renee, on all the front pages, surrounded by a bevy of his acolytes:
tattooed body-builders, muscular fixers, spivs and male bimbos.
me, the cops were looking for one of them, Gary Redding, who fled to
Britain from New Zealand last year, shortly after agreeing to be interviewed
by Sydney detectives about the murder of Byrne, the fiancé of
Rivkins driver and PA, Gordon Wood, who had also disappeared from
the French alpine village where he had been holed up since he fled Australia.
figured Redding and Wood were probably lying low somewhere with US defence
secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, who hadnt
been spotted since I left Sydney.
wasnt hard to see why. The wheels of US colonial ambition had
sunk further into the quicksands of Iraq and the US Army was hunkered-down
in its bases, trying to minimise its death-rate in the lead-up to the
Presidential elections. The GIs werent venturing into Falluja
or Mosul much and the Iraqi resistance was still mounting brazen attacks
in downtown Baghdad.
Carr and his backroom fixers had got their come-uppance in the Sydney
City Council poll. Bob will probably go on TV and say hes heard
what were all saying, but he hasnt, or rather he cant.
The NSW ALP has been mainlining the developers dollar for so many
years its completely hooked, and only about ten years of cold
turkey would cure it.