Convicted drug lord Tony Mokbel is fighting for his life after he was violently set upon at the high security Barwon prison in Lara, near Geelong.
He is currently undergoing emergency surgery after being flown to the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Mokbel was admitted to the hospital in a serious but stable condition after being stabbed multiple times, but it is understood his condition has deteriorated and is now critical.
The violent attack on the 53-year-old comes just days after a newspaper report that Mokbel had intervened to disrupt a standover scheme organised by other inmates.
The Herald Sun has reported that Mokbel was “set upon” by two other prisoners just before the jail was placed into lockdown.
Victoria Police confirmed to news.com.au that a second man has also been taken to hospital.
“Police and emergency services are currently attending a prison in Lara in regards to a stabbing at about 3.45pm,” a police spokesman told news.com.au.
“A man in his 50s was airlifted to hospital in a serious condition.”
Police said a second man, in his 30s, was sent to hospital by road ambulance in a serious condition.
Aerial footage from the scene showed a bare-chested man being treated by a number of paramedics outdoors. Multiple media outlets said Mokbel was attacked in an exercise yard of the high-security jail.
“The police investigation is ongoing,” the spokesman added.
Mokbel was reportedly stabbed in the upper body and he was left bleeding from the mouth.
The helicopter carrying Mokbel arrived at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and he is currently being operated on.
In 2012, Mokbel was sentenced to 30 years behind bars with a minimum term of 22 years.
Earlier, in 2006, Mokbel had fled Australia while on trial for cocaine importation charges. He was found in Greece wearing an unconvincing disguise and dragged back to Melbourne.
Mokbel hit headlines in recent weeks after news broke that his former lawyer had acted as a police informer, dishing dirt to detectives to help secure convictions.
On Sunday, the Herald Sun reported that Mokbel had become a “feared voice” inside Barwon prison and a jail enforcer.
The paper reported that he had disrupted a prison standover scheme which had targeted younger prisoners. Inmates were said to be demanding $50 a month from a 19-year-old prisoner, in custody for the first time on assault charges. Mokbel became involved and the other inmates backed off the teen.
— with AAP.
Originally published as Mokbel fights for life after prison stabbing