true crime

New clues and revealing CCTV: There's an update on the attack of Meshilin Marrogi's grave.

It's the case that has gripped Melbourne's underworld, as well as leading police on a mammoth investigation.

It centres around a now-deceased beauty salon business owner, a crime family syndicate, the attempted theft of a corpse, and a convicted murderer. 

30-year-old Meshilin Marrogi was a shrewd businesswoman who was also the "brains behind" one of Australia's biggest criminal families. Only this fact about her criminal associations was confirmed after her death.

And the twists and turns don't stop there. 

Watch: Meshilin Marrogi's grave smashed three years after her death. Post continues below.

Video via 7News.

Meshilin died age 30 from COVID-19 in September 2021.

Her family laid her to rest at the Preston General Cemetery in Melbourne, her family opting to have her coffin in the mausoleum. She was farewelled in an elaborate ceremony, and buried with a diamond ring, reported to be worth approximately $100,000.

Then almost two years later, in July 2023, thieves found their way to Meshilin's gravesite in the mausoleum. The two unidentified male suspects opened the crypt cover and removed the woman's coffin. Investigators believe the thieves were attempting to escape with the coffin in hand, but due to the mausoleum's elevators being broken, they were unable to.


Instead police say Meshilin's coffin was smashed open, and the suspects are believed to have removed objects that were buried with her - including the expensive diamond ring. Her body was otherwise untouched.

No other crypts at the cemetery were impacted. With this in mind, police are treating this as a targeted attack.

But what exactly made the thieves choose Meshilin's resting place? And how did they know about the expensive ring she was buried with?

Who was Meshilin Marrogi?

Meshilin was a shrewd businesswoman. Far shrewder than anyone realised.

She'd spent years launching a series of businesses in Melbourne, many related to beauty salons. 

Her family had moved to Australia from Iraq in 1996. As the years went on, Meshilin's brother George spiralled into a life of crime. Serious crime. Armed robbery, manslaughter and murder. The now 34-year-old has spent as little as 12 months outside jail since he turned 16. 

George would go on to become one of Australia's most feared underworld killers, and the head of what became known as the Notorious Crime Family (NCF) empire.

As per The Age, The NCF was a group that were involved in significant drug importation and trafficking networks, money-laundering operations and fraud. 


In 2016, George was arrested for murdering rival Kadir Ors in the car park of an Officeworks store. While behind bars for the murder, he was then found to have orchestrated a $55 million drug importation with the help of his girlfriend. He is now serving a long prison sentence for murder and drug trafficking.

But it reportedly isn't just George who is heavily involved in the NCF. Police believe his sister Meshilin also was an intrinsic part of the syndicate too.

Meshilin Marrogi. Image: Instagram.


The Age's report says Meshilin was "the brains behind the operation".

It was Meshilin who had the "blueprint" of the business in her mind, the one who best understood the NCF's portfolio and dealings.

"[Meshilin] had it running extremely well. She had it running as a business even though it was illicit money, an illicit business driven by drugs," said Victoria Police Senior Sergeant Nathan Toey. "Even though it was at George's drive and behest, she was the brains behind it all."

Meshilin was allegedly "a wizard at washing dirty money clean", involved in money laundering, and  schemes such as trading in paintings, digital artwork and diamonds.

The clues that could lead to the thieves being found.

This month, Victoria Police released images from the mausoleum's CCTV on the night of Meshilin's grave desecration.

The two suspects are still yet to be identified, though police say they are closing in. CCTV shows the duo wearing gas masks, hooded jumpers and dark clothing at the time of the incident. Police believe one of the men had a larger build and one had a smaller build. They were reportedly seen in the area of Preston General Cemetery around 3:30am and 5am on the morning of the incident. 

An information caravan has since been set up outside this cemetery, as part of the ongoing investigation.

Back in December 2023, Detective Inspector Graham Banks fronted media and said the crime was clearly intended to "cause friction and hurt to the brother of Meshilin".


Inspector Banks said he had seen all kinds of criminal reprisals between warring syndicates, but the coffin break-in was a "new low".

"I've never seen anything of this nature. Parents who bury their child should not have to deal with this type of incident."

CCTV showing the two suspects. Image: Victoria Police.


During the press conference, police said the two cemetery thieves were acting on behalf of a high-level criminal based overseas. Underworld sources suspect the aborted plan was part of a scheme to punish or potentially extort money from George, the founder of NCF.

Police said Kazem "Kaz" Hamad, 39, is now the prime suspect of the orchestration and attempted theft of the body, with plans to mutilate Meshilin's corpse as a "f**k you" to the Marrogi family.

"I'm concerned about the recklessness of this group in particular. It's a thing that's emerging across Australia where we have high-level organised criminals living overseas, directing harm into the community. Reckless abandon is how they go about it because they're often in countries with extradition," Inspector Banks noted. 

"He is directing, we would say, the majority of the crime that's been the subject of why this task force has been stood up. He's directing it from the top of the pyramid."

Investigators also revealed this week that they believe the thieves used a dark-coloured Mini Cooper car during the heist. 

A car matching this description was seen near the cemetery on the morning of the burglary.

Detectives released a picture of a car similar to one seen near the cemetery. Image: Victoria Police.


 While former homicide detective Charlie Bezzina told Channel 7 News there was an unwritten code among crime gangs that you "don't go after families - alive and dead", Assoc Prof Kennedy says the underworld rarely follows the rules.

Describing the attack as a "very low act," Detective Bezzina expressed concern about the possibility of further retaliation from the Marrogis.

Anyone with information is being urged to come forward. 

Feature Image: Instagram.