Nik Radev

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Nik Radev
Nik Radev
Born29 January 1959
Died15 April 2003(2003-04-15) (aged 44)
Other namesThe Russian
OccupationMob enforcer, Extortionist[1]
Criminal statusDeceased
Spouse(s)Sylvia Bruno[2]
Children1 Daughter[3]
Conviction(s)Armed robbery, Assault, Blackmail, Extortion
Criminal penaltyShort prison terms

Nikolai "Nik" Radev (Bulgarian: Николай "Ник" Радев) (29 January 1959 – 15 April 2003), nicknamed The Russian, was a Bulgarian-born career criminal and mobster who was involved in crime in Melbourne, Victoria.


During his life he was jailed for assault, blackmail, threats to kill, extortion, firearm offences, armed robbery and drug charges.[1] According to police he was an enforcer for the Melbourne head of the Russian mafia, robbing drug dealers.[2]

Radev was shot and killed in Queen St Coburg on 15 April 2003 in a series of similar events that are commonly referred to as the Melbourne gangland killings.

He was shot seven times in the head and chest in front of his bodyguard after he stood out from his black Mercedes Benz CLK 500 convertible. A third person in Nik Radev's entourage was driving a light green 2000 Toyota Camry CSI sedan parked directly in front of his Mercedes Benz near the corner of Queen & Reynard Streets, Coburg also witnessed the murder.[citation needed]

Victoria Police told The Age that they believed his death was planned by a father and son drug manufacturing team, and a hitman suspected of four other murders carried out the killing in a red Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo sedan, his associates Damien Cossu and Alfonso Traglia were with Radev at the time of the murder but claimed they could not identify the gunman, and were subsequently named by police as 'persons of interest'.[3]

Despite only having worked for eight months during the 1980s at a fish and chip shop, Radev was killed wearing Versace clothing and a $20,000 watch, and was buried in a gold-plated coffin.[4] Victorian Police, suspect that Andrew Veniamin and Carl Williams, were behind the killing.[4]

Popular culture[edit]

He was portrayed by Don Hany in the Australian TV series Underbelly and the subsequent telemovie Underbelly Files: Tell Them Lucifer was Here.


  1. ^ Wise guys, tough guys, dead guys John Silvester, The Age 14 December 2003
  2. ^ Why gangland's bloody code is hard to crack John Silvester, The Age 20 April 2003
  3. ^ Six named in underworld investigations Steve Butcher, The Age 23 December 2003
  4. ^ New lead in Bulgarian Nik's killing John Silvester The Age 13 December 2003
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  4. ^ Silvester, John; Rule, Andrew (2008). Underbelly : the Gangland war. Australia: Sly Ink/Floradale Publishing. p. 68. ISBN 0977544060.