He was once a South Australian gang leader, but Vince Focarelli appears to be a completely different man today
Italian-born Focarelli declined an interview to talk about his new life in Malaysia when contacted by the The Sunday Mail in Adelaide recently. However, an article published by Adelaide-based daily, The Advertiser on 11 November delved into details on how the former head of one of South Australia's most notorious motorcycle gangs, Comanchero now leads a completely different life after fleeing from Australia.
Focarelli got into all kinds of troubles previously which saw him survive several assassination attempts. He was shot at four times in a gang shooting incident in 2012. He survived the attack but his stepson, Giovanni died in the same incident.
He had also spent 14 months in jail for firearm and drugs offences, having been released from prison on parole in April 2013 after serving his sentence.
Today, Focarelli leads a new life in Kuala Lumpur, a place he wished to make his second home as he leaves behind his former life of crime
Earlier this year, Focarelli revealed that he could face deportation and end up in a detention centre due to his criminal past. To escape the risk deportation, he decided to leave Australia.
The Advertiser reported that he left Adelaide for Italy in March but only for a brief period of time as he subsequently moved to Malaysia to make a new life for himself.
It was learned tha his mother, who has stage four cancer, has been flown from Australia to Malaysia in August. However, he is still separated from his wife and stepdaughter who have remained in Australia.
"Adelaide was my home and my heart is still there. I miss it. I am missing two people. I am missing my wife and stepdaughter. When they are here, I will be complete," Focarelli said, as reported by The Advertiser.
The Australian daily also cited Focarelli's wish to reopen his old Adelaide restaurant, La'Fig Cucin, in Kuala Lumpur.
Dubbed by The Advertiser as "the tough guy turned preacher", Focarelli now gained reputation for being a devoted Islam convert
Focarelli has become a popular figure with followers, as he goes around telling his life's story of how he turned from being a gangster to someone who truly embraced Islam when he was incarcerated and became a devout Muslim ever since.
Since settling down in Malaysia a few months ago, Focarelli has been getting invites to speak and dakwah (preach) about his journey to Islam.
In May, Focarelli made news when he was spotted in a photograph with Federal Territories (FT) mufti Datuk Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri
It was revealed that Focarelli visited the Federal Territories Mufti’s Office and the mufti welcomed him with open arms. The mufti even invited Focarelli to deliver a talk to kids and teenagers.
"Hearing how he (Focarelli) received guidance to embrace Islam is enough to remind us of the greatness of Allah. It is true that guidance belongs to Allah SWT alone," Zulkifli shared on Facebook.
It is learned that reformed man has also taken on the name 'Imran Abdul Salam'.