Most of us tend to live quite ordinary lives but on the off chance that we do get to meet someone with a whirlwind story, it’s always worth talking about.
With that, there’s really no other character like Vince Focarelli, an Australian ex-Mafia turned Muslim preacher and anti-vaxxer who is a part of PPIM (Persatuan Pengguna Islam Malaysia).
In a tweet posted by Norman Goh, Focarelli is seen standing outside of Istana Negara claiming that Covid-19 is fake, the vaccines are deadly and that swab tests are a scam. This is the common narrative amongst anti-vaxxers.
Take a look:
This person’s name is Vince Focarelli and during the Facebook live video on September 6, 2021 in front of the Istana Negara, he claimed that the Covid-19 pandemic was fake, the vaccines were the cause of death and the swab tests were fake. pic.twitter.com/WkzepNwb2V
— Norman Goh (@imnormgoh) September 8, 2021
You can watch the full video of his sermon below at the 25:55 timestamp:
Due to his rather odd presence, netizens began digging more information on Focarelli and it turns out that this man has quite an outstanding background.
Let’s rewind time and start with his past in Australia.
Focarelli was an ex-Mafia in his teens and he had survived 7 assassinations, including an attempt with a bomb.
In 2021, during one of the assassinations, his stepson was tragically killed. Focarelli was shot 4 times but managed to drag his stepson into the car to shield him from further gunfire. Drenched in blood, his stepson died on the spot.
Focarelli was thrown into prison for possession of drugs and firearms. He served 14 months.
He said the pivotal point in his life was when he could only attend his stepson’s funeral through the television screen.
However, prior to the incident, Focarelli often spoke to a Turkish friend who opened his eyes to Islam. After the tragedy struck, Focarelli began his journey as a Muslim and started reading the Quran in prison.
The first thing he did when he got out was visit a mosque to pray.
Ever since then, he’s been giving back to the community through charity and his own restaurant in Australia that serves halal food.
However, his slew of criminal offences led to his deportation which he claims is politically motivated. Now, Focarelli @ Imran Salaam resides in Malaysia as a preacher for the teachings of Islam.
He has since joined PPIM, an organisation that introduced him on their YouTube channel as the gangster-turned-devout Muslim.
Watch it below:
Present day in Malaysia
As mentioned before, Focarelli was seen spreading anti-vaccine news which several people have pointed out could be a part of PPIM’s initiative to stop the obligatory distribution of vaccines.
In a tweet posted by Jia Vern, several screenshots were taken from a Telegram message of a legal action to refuse the vaccines.
Check it out below:
— jv (@jiavern_) August 26, 2021
In the message, it stated that the legal action was started by PPIM and it urged the community to lodge reports stating that they had received the vaccine involuntarily and that it had affected their health.
PPIM has been spreading anti-vaccine sentiments on their YouTube channel and on their Facebook page. They have also come out with a statement implying that the Pfizer vaccine is “toxic” and that Ivermectin is the true cure for Covid-19.
Read it below:
Since Focarelli is an active member of the organisation, it’s not surprising that he got roped into this community as well hence the now viral video of him outside of Istana Negara.
So, from an ex-Mafia to repented Muslim preacher, prominent anti-vaxxer and even a fitness coach, Focarelli’s life is definitely one for the books.