An alleged kingpin of the notorious Triad crime family is finally set for deportation 20 years after the Immigration Department's first bungled attempt to send him home.
Police raised serious concerns about Chinese immigrant Qi Guang Guo in 1996, but it took until last month for his visa application to be denied.
While living in Australia he has been paid $100,000 in compensation and racked-up convictions for illegal gambling, using a false passport, housing stolen goods and drug use.
The case of Mr Guo, now 60, brings to light extraordinary new details of Australia's underground Asian crime networks and the decades-long fight by police to expose them.
"Qi Guang Guo [is a] reputed factional leader of an Asian criminal group referred to as 'Big Circle'," read a NSW Police intelligence assessment from 2015.
"This faction operates mainly in Sydney but with connections to other Australian cities and Asia.
"In a series of probes and investigations, Guo has been observed exercising a high level of influence with other members of the group, effectively performing a leadership role."
Mr Guo arrived in Australia from Guangzhou City, China, on a six-month student visa in 1988.
Immigration officials were told of his alleged involvement with organised crime in 1996, following his application for an Australian permanent entry visa.
Intelligence provided by state and federal police in response to the application strongly recommended the visa should be declined.
"The Australian Federal Police have stated that Mr Guo was a member of the Triad group, and that seven of his colleagues are in prison and one is on bail," an internal Immigration Department briefing from 1996 read.
"If Mr Guo was allowed to remain in Australia he would be likely to engage in criminal conduct."
Although the Immigration Department decided to decline the visa on the basis of police intelligence, a legal "defect" in the notification letter meant the decision was invalid.
It took until 2014 before a second letter was sent to fix the mistake, but the decision was bungled a second time with another "legally deficient" notice.
It is understood the letters failed mandatory requirements to inform Mr Guo of his right to have the decision reviewed.
Only in March 2015 was Mr Guo presented with a third letter that carried legal standing.
His application for a permanent entry visa has been tied up in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal since.
In the almost 20 years between the two letters, Mr Guo allegedly rose to the top of one of Sydney's most influential crime syndicates – The Big Circle Gang.
The gang is an offshoot of the Triads, a notorious Asian crime network originating in China.
A parliamentary report in 1995 described the emerging Big Circle Gang as "particularly violent" with links to heroin trafficking.
NSW Police intelligence records show how today the gang has allegedly branched out to become involved in all facets of organised crime.
"Guo is a senior member and considered in the upper echelon of an Asian organised crime gang known as 'The Big Circle Gang'," one senior NSW Police officer alleged.
"Extensive intelligence holdings relating to the Big Circle Gang indicate they are involved in acts of violence, extortion, drug importation and distribution, credit card fraud and prostitution."
In 2002, NSW Police raided an alleged meeting of the Big Circle Gang at Sydney's Silver Spring restaurant in Haymarket.
More than 50 people were arrested in the raid and a number of suspected gang members were sent to an immigration detention centre.
Reports described how police found semi-automatic handguns and machetes stashed under restaurant tables.
Although Mr Guo admitted he was dining at the restaurant at the time of the raid, he was not among those arrested and he denied any knowledge of the strong Triad presence.
He also denied police allegations that, days later, he orchestrated an escape attempt on behalf of gang members inside the Villawood Detention Centre.
Mr Guo was allegedly present when another incident took place at a Sydney nightclub in 2002, during which a member of a rival gang was set-upon and stabbed in the stomach.
Footage of the incident allegedly shows Mr Guo appearing after the stabbing and intervening to halt the melee.
Mr Guo has maintained he was an innocent bystander who only learned of the stabbing when told by nightclub staff.
But investigators have since concluded that "only a person with significant authority in the eyes of those involved would, or could, have [intervened]".
While considering Mr Guo's application, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal questioned how he had maintained a living while in Australia.
Mr Guo said he had done so through gambling, cleaning and by holding down other odd jobs.
Star City Casino records showed that, between 1995 and 1997, a VIP card in Mr Guo's name had gambled more than $900,000 and lost more than $600,000 before he was banned.
Between 2004 and 2005 Mr Guo was illegally detained at the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre for a period of 132 days.
He was freed on May 6, 2005 and has since been compensated $100,000.
In statements provided to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Mr Guo has repeatedly denied the alleged links to organised criminal activity and instead described himself as a "good family man".
"I think I'm just an ordinary person in society who tries to live by principles and to do the best to get by," he said.
"I sometimes have dinner and drinks with friends, but I generally lead a very simple life, keeping to myself and spending time with my family."
In May 2017 the Administrative Appeals Tribunal finally issued its ruling, confirming that Mr Guo's visa should be cancelled on grounds he was not of "good character".
A police source told Fairfax Media this decision had come on the back of two decades of gruelling police work tracking Mr Guo and his alleged ties to organised crime.
Although the tribunal could not conclude Mr Guo was the leader of the Big Circle Gang, it did conclude he was closely associated with a number of underworld crime figures.
"We are further satisfied that the evidence establishes that Mr Guo could, and did, exercise significant authority over other persons involved in organised crime," the tribunal found.
It is understood that Mr Guo is currently detained within Sydney's Villawood Detention Centre.
The life, times and crimes of Qi Guang Guo
1957: Born in Guangzhou City, China
1988: Arrived in Sydney on a six-month student visa
1991: Arrested in an illegal gambling house
1994: Found in possession of a fraudulent passport
1994: Failed to declare foreign currency
1994: Applied for a permanent entry visa
1996: Police intelligence indicates alleged involvement in organised crime
1996: Visa application declined but letter held no legal standing
2004: Found in possession of stolen goods
2012: Found in possession of prohibited drugs
2014: Immigration re-notifies Mr Guo that his visa has been denied. The second letter has no legal standing
2017: Administrative Appeals Tribunal finally confirms decision to deny visa