An expatriate New Zealander is feared dead after he was abducted at gunpoint on a bridge near the border of Victoria and South Australia.
Gordon Tearonui Hamm was dragged from a car driven by a woman friend and assaulted by two men after the car was brought to a halt by two four wheel drive vehicles in what police describe as an "orchestrated" kidnapping.
The 34-year-old, who reportedly owed drug debts to several South Australian and Victorian syndicates, was then bundled into one of the vehicles while the woman fled the scene about 4am last Wednesday.
Police say Hamm, who is originally from Taumarunui, has not been seen since and investigations have found no indication he is alive.
"He was clearly targeted with two vehicles, two men and firearms involved," said Victoria Homicide Squad Detective Inspector John Potter. It is one shot was fired during the incident, he said.
"We don't know whether Mr Hamm was shot. We know he was assaulted so he's clearly got injuries and potentially fatal injuries."
The woman who was with Hamm when he was abducted by has been interviewed by police and she continues to assist with the investigation.
Potter said Hamm was known to police while News Limited reported he was considering returning to New Zealand after accumulating debts to syndicates locally, and in Melbourne.
Hamm had spent time in Sydney after leaving New Zealand and had lived in Mt Gambier, 450km south-east of Adelaide for about three years.
Hamm was described by one unnamed acquaintance as "naive and not a very good drug dealer".
"He said he should go home but then he reckoned it would all be OK, he was naive as to what was going on around him," the source told News Ltd.
Hamm was heading home to Mt Gambier when the woman's Toyota Corolla was blocked on a bridge in Nelson, a small Victorian fishing town at the mouth of the Glenelg River 4km from the border.
- © Fairfax NZ News