Two men charged with murder over freeway shooting_1


Police have charged two men with the murder of Melbourne fruiterer Paul Virgona, who was gunned down while driving to work on the EastLink tollway last year.

Mr Virgona, 46, was driving to work along the EastLink tollway early on November 9 when his van was sprayed with bullets, killing him.

From 5am on Wednesday, police raided 12 properties across Melbourne, including Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang clubhouses in Ferntree Gully and Port Melbourne.

Police units including the Special Operations Group also executed warrants at homes in Montrose, Kilsyth, Lilydale, Tecoma, Wantirna South, Southbank, Noble Park and Croydon, and commercial premises in South Melbourne and Port Melbourne.

A 35-year-old man from Kilsyth and a 29-year-old man from Port Melbourne, who are both members of the Mongol outlaw motorcycle gang, were arrested and interviewed by Homicide Squad detectives on Wednesday morning and have been charged with Mr Virgona's murder.

A 30-year-old Montrose man was also arrested in relation to drug offences and will be interviewed by detectives from the anti-bikie Echo Taskforce.

Police are continuing to search the properties and have already seized firearms and drugs.

Since the shooting, police have focused on a Mercedes with the number plate AZE-110, which followed Mr Virgona from his property and was later set on fire in Mooroolbark, as well as two men who were seen leaving a Volkswagen ute near Bayswater parkland.

Mr Virgona was killed in his van as it emerged from the Mullum Mullum tunnel at Donvale about 2.15am.

His car came to rest in the right-hand lanes of the tollway, sparking calls from other motorists about a car blocking lanes on the tollway.

'There are people who know why this happened'

Mr Virgona's widow Antonietta and son Luca held a press conference earlier in January to appeal for information about the killing.

Luca Virgona described his father as an honest and dedicated man, whose death had left the family distraught.

"No amount of effort, pleading or goodwill can bring him back and the shock of his absence will never cease as it's now embedded firmly in our daily lives," he said.

"There are people out there who know why this happened to my father.

"All I ask is that anyone who has information come forward to help us find some sense of justice in a situation where there is none."