Aussie drug lord Steven Spaliviero engaged to a woman half his age

A former Aussie drug lord whose Swedish model ex-fiancée tried to order contract killings on prosecution witnesses has found love again – with a woman less than half his age.

Steven Spaliviero, now 59, was jailed for 11 years after pleading guilty to running a drug lab that manufactured huge amounts of ecstasy in and around Sydney.

He was found not guilty of conspiring to murder witnesses in his drugs trial after his fiancee Charlotte Lindstrom met with an undercover police officer posing as a hit man.

She negotiated a plea deal to provide evidence against Spaliviero in exchange for a reduced sentence of three years.

After being released, Lindstrom went back to her home country, while Spaliviero served out the remainder of his sentence before being released in October 2017.

Despite reports suggesting he “still loved” Lindstrom, Spaliviero has tried to move on with his life, and has been romantically involved with several women – including a Sydney property professional he was engaged to briefly in 2022.

But now the reformed criminal has found love again, popping the question to Ciara Jones, 28, on New Year’s Eve, according to a Facebook post made by Spaliviero.

It’s not clear how long Spaliviero has been dating the Newcastle woman, but in January the pair hosted an engagement party that saw many of their friends express surprise at their change in relationship status.

“Engagement?!? OMG so exciting, I’m so happy for you beautiful,” one wrote on a post Ms Jones captioned “#myengagementparty”.

“Congratulations Steve, Ciara darling can’t wait to meet you,” another wrote.

The couple live together in Sydney’s northern beaches, with Ms Jones writing on Instagram she was “living her best life”, adding she was engaged to “S.S”.

Spaliviero regularly leaves adoring messages for his bride-to-be, writing “love you baby” on a string of her recent posts.

It’s the second post-prison engagement for Spaliviero, who got down on one knee to a woman known only as Emma during a European holiday in 2022. However the relationship ended before the pair married, Daily Mail Australia reports.

He also went public with Chelsea Coates, a woman he met via Tinder, back in 2017, telling at the time she had quizzed him about his famous ex shortly after they began dating.

“I didn’t put my age on Tinder, or that I’d just been in prison, just to give me a bit of a chance,” he said.

“But we met and the second time I told her, and she Googled me and then asked ‘have you killed people … how safe am I going to be … do you still love Charlotte?’”

Spaliviero and Lindstrom, who was 20 years his junior, began dating after the pair met in the exclusive nightclub Hemmesphere in Sydney where the part-time model was working as a waitress in 2004.

Together, they lived a life of money, waterfront apartments, fast cars and designer wardrobes, which catapulted them into Sydney’s elite socialite scene.

But no one knew he was earning his fortune by sweating it out in a secret laboratory, toiling over gigantic drug boilers he’d welded himself to produce billions of ecstasy pills.

Spaliviero became one of the world’s biggest ecstasy manufacturers after being taught how to make the illicit substance while locked up in a US prison cell with a master drug cook named Igor.

In his 2017 book Narco X, Spaliviero – who was jailed for being involved in a luxury car racket, stripping Porsches and sending the parts back to Australia – explained his cellmate was a chemical engineer whose wife had died of cancer, leaving him to care for their young daughter Emily who had cerebral palsy.

To prevent her being taken into care, Igor had agreed to set up an illegal drug laboratory in America, but had ended up in prison after being busted making 100kg of MDMA.

In April 1991, the cellmates made a pact that if Igor taught him to make ecstasy, Spaliviero would pay for Emily’s upkeep.

Once he was released, he began making ecstasy, manufacturing mammoth quantities of the class A substance.

By the time Spaliviero was arrested in Australia August 2005, he was formulating huge quantities of ecstasy in a drug lab in a South American jungle, using precursor chemicals from China.

The drug was then made into thousands of pills from warehouses in and around Sydney.

In May 2007, Lindstrom was also arrested and charged with conspiracy to murder after she met with an undercover police officer posing as a hit man and offered $200,000 to kill two witnesses.

She negotiated a plea deal to provide evidence against her fiance in exchange for a reduced sentence.

At Spaliviero’s 2009 trial, Lindstrom made headlines when she arrived, her emaciated body swamped by a bulletproof vest.

Spaliviero was found not guilty of the conspiracy to murder charge.

He pleaded guilty to running a drug lab in Riverstone, but further drug charges were dropped.

He was sentenced to a maximum 16 and minimum 12 years’ prison, reduced to 11 years on appeal.

In prison, Spaliviero studied counselling, psychology and life coaching and even began mentoring younger inmates.

“The narcotics business is over for me,” Spaliviero told shortly after his release.

“There are huge amounts of money to be made in narcotics however… but how do you put a price figure on 16 years of your life in a prison cell?

“5696 — That’s how many sunsets I missed, 16 Christmases and 16 of my mother’s birthdays. My advice to anyone who wants to take their chances is, don’t do it.”

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