Two charged over Vic fruiterer execution

Police raided 12 properties connected to the Mongols bikies and charged two men with murder.
Police raided 12 properties connected to the Mongols bikies and charged two men with murder.

Two men linked to the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang have been charged with the execution-style murder of Melbourne fruiterer Paul Virgona.

The 46-year-old died en route to work when his van was peppered with bullets on the city's Eastlink Freeway at Donvale about 2.15am on November 9 last year.

A 35-year-old Kilsyth man and a 29-year-old Port Melbourne man were charged with murder after being interviewed by homicide detectives on Wednesday morning.

Both will appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday afternoon.

A third man, aged 30, will be interviewed by detectives from the anti-bikie Echo Taskforce in relation to drug offences.

The arrests following dawn raids on 12 Melbourne properties linked to the Mongols, including its Port Melbourne and Ferntree Gully clubhouses.

A South Melbourne tattoo parlour co-owned by ex-bikie Toby Mitchell and former Richmond Football Club player Jake King was raided by police.

Both Mr King, who was seen speaking to police at the Clarendon Street tattoo parlour, and Mr Mitchell are not accused of any wrongdoing.

Police said searches of the raided properties will be ongoing but they have already seized six guns, including handguns and long-arm firearms, a boat and "powders believed to be drugs".

The motive for Mr Virgona's brutal killing remains unclear.

Police have previously said Mr Virgona's killers waited for him to leave his home in Croydon and followed him in a Mercedes-Benz sedan, which was later found torched in Mooroolbark.

The duo then switched to a getaway car, a Volkswagen Amarok utility, before dumping it and running into a park.

At a press conference earlier this month, police released images of a distinctive Nike top, believed to have been dropped by one of the killers.

At the same press conference, Mr Virgona's son Luca spoke of the impact his father's death had on his family.

"My greatest role model in life is now gone and we are left to pick up the pieces of our broken family," the 17-year-old said.

"The death of my father has left us all distraught and will forever do so, as this is a life sentence."

Crime Command Assistant Commissioner Tess Walsh reiterated Mr Virgona had no criminal association and no association with the Mongols.

"There is nothing is his background that would suggest that anything he or his family have done has been part of the reason why he's been a victim of this heinous crime," she told reporters on Wednesday.

DAWN RAIDS ON MONGOL PROPERTIES:

*Croydon

*Ferntree Gully (clubhouse)

*Kilsyth

*Lilydale

*Montrose

*Noble Park

*Port Melbourne (clubhouse)

*Port Melbourne (commercial)

*Southbank

*South Melbourne (commercial)

*Tecoma

*Wantirna South

Australian Associated Press