Bela Csidei

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Bela Csidei

"Murray Riley’s associate in the trans-Pacific drug trade, Bela Csidei, was born in Budapest, Hungary, on 10 August 1932. Csidei migrated to Australia in the 1950s where he joined up with his countryman, Emil Herbert Peter Abeles. While Sir Peter Abeles’ dizzying climb to billionaire status propelled him to the centre of power in Australia, Csidei’s relationship with Abeles remained close: Csidei said Abeles treated him like a son; others accused Csidei of being a front man for Abeles.

"Abeles was a member of a powerful, right-wing emigre group (which included Alexander Barton, Sir Paul Strasser and Sir Ivan Charody) who were referred to as ‘the Hungarian Mafia’. It was members of this group who had funded Bernie Houghton when he first came to Australia, and who provided employment for Michael Hand.

"Csidei associated with Murray Riley in his visits to the U.S. in 1976 and 1977 and Csidei and Riley were photographed with Teamsters' Union official Rudy Tham and Mafia leader James ‘the Weasel’ Fratianno in San Francisco in 1976. From Fratianno, Csidei acquired some exotic cannabis seed whose produce was guaranteed to ‘blow your head off’, according to Csidei." [1]

Related Books

  • Bela Csidei as told to Norm Lipson and Adam Walters, The accidental gangster : the life and times of Bela Csidei (Park Street Press and Media 21 Publishing, 2006).

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. John Jiggens, 'Marijuana Australiana: Cannabis Use, Popular Culture and the Americanisation of Drugs Policy in Australia 1938 - 1988' (QUT PhD, 2004), pp.186.