In September 2016, Developers Raman Shaqiri and Stefce Kutlesovski illegally demolished the two-story 1859 Corkman Irish Hotel in inner-city Carlton. The building was under heritage protection, and yet these cowboy developers bulldozed the hotel under the cover of darkness without planning permission.
Last year, the same developers pleaded guilty to dumping asbestos from the illegally demolished historic pub near homes and a childcare centre, and were each fined $120,000:
In sentencing, magistrate Richard Pithouse told the Sunshine Magistrate Court the men’s “cavalier disregard for the law” meant they should go to jail, but the legislation did not allow it…
“If jail were available, I would impose imprisonment for such a blatant breach.”
Despite these crimes, Raman Shaqiri and Stefce Kutlesovski are still likely to make a healthy profit from developing the Corkman Irish Hotel site into high-rise apartments. From The Age:
The developers, Raman Shaqiri and Stefce Kutlesovski, have pulled off the deal of the century with the Andrews government and the City of Melbourne. This deal will allow the partners to develop the former site of the Corkman to the height of 40 metres, or 12 storeys. Despite the significant fines these men have received, almost $2 million, they are still likely to make substantial profits when construction is concluded on such a sought-after location; so close to the University of Melbourne, the CBD, and public transport…
The developers took a punt on the weakness of the system and those who lead it. It seems their punt may have paid off, handsomely.
It sure does pay to be a crooked developer in corrupt Australia.