Nik Radev

Victims Unknown
Born 29 January 1959
Died 15 April 2003(2003-04-15) (aged 44)
Coburg, Victoria, Australia
Known for Unknown
Criminal penalty Short prison terms


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


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

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'.

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. Victorian Police suspect that Andrew Veniamin and Carl Williams were behind the killing.

Popular culture

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