AFP get another 135 kg of ICE worth $130m off our streets


Follow the money and the drugs will follow. The minnows they caught with the drugs are disposable, with a queue of guys ready to take their places.

That is a lot of money to the man on the street to lose, but if you haven’t seen the brilliant show called “breaking bad”. The drugs they lost are are a mere few batches away for the big players. Not much else the Australian Federal Police can do.

from the ABC Thu 31 Jul 2014, 9:36am

A joint AFP-ACC raid in Melbourne has netted 135 kilograms of methamphetamine.

A joint AFP-ACC raid in Melbourne has netted 135 kilograms of methamphetamine. (ABC News: Tony Nicholls)

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) have seized 135 kilograms of methamphetamine with a street value of $130 million from a Melbourne apartment.

Police said they located four suitcases containing the drugs in an inner city Melbourne apartment on Tuesday night.

The drugs represent 1.3 million street deals, police said.

The AFP and Australian Crime Commission (ACC) executed search warrants in Melbourne yesterday and arrested four Taiwanese nationals, all aged in their twenties.

Eligo Taskforce since 2012:

  • Aprox $40 million in cash seized
  • Over $800 million of illicit drugs seized
  • $30 million in assets restrained
  • Identified more than 179 targets previously unknown to law enforcement officials
  • Disrupted 25 serious organised crime groups
  • Shut down 18 clandestine drug labs, three of which were commercial scale
  • Raised $12 million in tax assessments with 150 referrals to the ATO for further action on evasion and money laundering.

The seizure and arrests comes after intelligence from the Eligo National Task Force.

AFP Commander Bruce Giles said it was a significant seizure for the country and the state.

“Ice, we see as one of the most dangerous and insidious diseases in our communities and the fact that we have removed over 1.3 million street deals of methamphetamine has got to be good for the Victorian and Australian community,” he said.

“I think in terms of an organised crime syndicate operating in Australia, clearly they will see yet again that agencies cooperate effectively together to join forces to combat the drug trade.”

The four men, Chun Lan, 28, Ming Hsuan Ou and Li Ping Chen, both 23, and Shu Yi Lin, 20, appeared briefly in the Melbourne Magistrates Court just before 1:00pm (AEST).

They were all charged with possessing and trafficking a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug. The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The 135kg of crystal methylamphetamine, or ice, worth about $130 million

The 135kg of crystal methylamphetamine, or ice, worth about $130 million

The court heard the men, who were assisted by a translator, have Australian tourist visas and their arrest yesterday is their first time in custody.

They have been remanded in custody until their next court hearing. Magistrate Jelena Popovic told the men they could apply for bail at any time.

They will return to court on November 5 for a committal mention.


A Melbourne ice haul of 135kg packed into suitcases has been uncovered after authorities tracked profits of a crime syndicate.

Authorities tracking money linked to offshore crime syndicates have seized $130 million worth of ice packed into plastic bags and stacked in four bulging suitcases in a Melbourne apartment.

Four Taiwanese nationals in Australia on tourist visas have been charged over the crystal methylamphetamine haul.

More than 135kg of the drug was seized, an amount which police say would have been on-sold to users 1.3 million times over.

A joint Australian Federal Police and Australian Crime Commission (ACC) operation netted the illicit product, after intelligence was provided through the Eligo national task force which tracks money laundering.

ACC national manager of investigations Richard Grant said people were increasingly being targeted by cartels and offshore syndicates, focused purely on profit.

“One of the things for the Eligo task force is going after the profits and this is how we were able to track these particular syndicate members to end up with these seizures,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

AFP commander Bruce Giles said the bust was significant and investigations into the exact source of the drugs were ongoing.

“Traditionally with this quantity of ice, you would expect it to come by land or sea,” he said.

The drugs were found in four suitcases in an inner-city Melbourne apartment on Tuesday afternoon.

Four men have been charged with a range of drug offences.

A brief hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday was told the men were in Australia on tourist visas and have no fixed address within the country.

Shu Yi Lin, 20, and Li Ping Chen, 23, were both charged with possessing a commercial quantity of ice suspected of being illegally imported.

Chun Lan, 28, and Ming Hsuan Ou, 23, were each charged with trafficking a commercial quantity of ice.

Raids target organised crime in WA-Massive money laundering


Raids target organised crime in WA
Picture: WA Police

UPDATE: Police investigating an alleged WA organised crime syndicate over money-laundering are questioning about 180 foreign nationals amid suspicions they have been used as illegal workers at market gardens.

The men, women and children, believed to be from three or four different countries, were taken from a compound in Carabooda early this morning during police raids.

The Department of Immigration will also check the visa status of those people.

Acting Det-Supt. Chris Adams, the operational commander, said they were questioning other people over their links to the alleged complex crime organisation, which police claim has been operating in WA for about a decade and involved tens of millions of dollars.

The operation was sparked about 12 months ago as an investigation into suspected money-laundering.

Police suspect operators of some market gardens, which supply vegetables to WA supermarkets, have an illegal workforce to bolster the funding of their legitimate businesses.


Picture: 7 News

Picture: WA Police

Acting Det-Supt Adams said the foreign nationals “did appear at this stage to be a workforce”.

“But we’re continuing our inquiries and we’ll be able to shed more light on that when we unravel the complexity around this organised crime syndicate,” he said.

Police claimed they had seized a big amount of illegal firearms and cash during the raids.

No charges have yet been laid.


Picture: 7 News

Heavy gates were ripped from walls surrounding houses in Carabooda – in Perth’s north – as part of the major police operation.

A massive police presence remained in the area hours after officers from the Australian Federal Police, WA Police and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service targeted the suburb in today’s series of dawn raids.


Picture: 7 News

Police said members of the public in the area need not to be concerned by the increased number of officers involved in the operation.

The Tactical Response Group smashed down gates to gain access to the secure properties.


Picture: WA Police

Government agencies executed dozens of search warrants across the Perth metropolitan area about 4am in an attempt to identify, target and dismantle organised crime syndicates operating in the State.

The raids were also executed in Victoria.

More than 500 police officers were involved in the operation.

Police said a “significant number” of items of interest were seized, including cash, firearms and computers.

It is understood at least six properties were involved in the Carabooda raids.


Picture: 7 News

Roads including Bailey Road were blocked while police continued to search the properties.

Officers also spoke to people at a nearby tomato farm, which is protected by high barbed wire, according to the ABC.

Two mini-buses escorted by police were seen taking people from the properties about 10am.

The government agencies involved in the operation are attached to Project Tricord and Operation Polo.

The agencies also included the Australian Crime Commission, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, the Corruption and Crime Commission, the Australian Taxation Office, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre.


Picture: 7 News

Picture: 7 News

Picture: 7 News

Picture: WA Police

Picture: WA Police

Picture: WA Police

Picture: WA Police

The Crims' code and vigilante shootings in Sydney-BIKIES AT WAR CONFIRMED


UPDATE 1 TODAY 22/04/12

Latest Sydney shooting death not linked to bikies

Police say a man shot dead in Sydney’s south-west overnight had been involved in a number of earlier shootings, although none linked to bikie gang violence.

Detectives have established a crime scene near the intersection of Bell Street and Schofield Street at Riverwood after a man was gunned down just after midnight.

Police say paramedics tried to revive him, but he died at the scene.

A man was arrested a short time later and is being questioned at Campsie Police Station.

Police superintendent Steve Blackmore says the victim, aged in his 30s, is believed to have been killed because of a personal feud over a debt that was owed.

Superintendent Blackmore says both men were known to police, and the victim had previously been involved in public shootings.

The public has been urged to avoid the area while they investigate.

The latest incident comes after a spate of shootings in Sydney over the past two weeks.

The New South Wales Government has announced measures targeting outlaw motorcycle gangs, which they hope will reduce the recent spate of shootings.

 

UPDATE 2 TODAY 22/04/12

Bikie refused bail after allegedly torching police van

Updated April 22, 2012 17:10:28

Related Story: Bikie charged over torched police van

A Sydney bikie has been refused bail after allegedly threatening police and torching a police van that was parked near his tattoo parlour on Friday.

Scott Orrock is a former boss of the Nomads bikie gang, but has recently switched allegiances to the rival gang, Hells Angels.

Police say his defection is one of the reasons for the recent surge in gang violence across Sydney.

The 47-year-old faced court today charged with setting a police car on fire while it was parked near his tattoo parlour in inner city Newtown.

In documents tendered to court, police allege Orrock went to the local police station around 3:00am on Friday in an agitated manner and asked them to move the van.

The four officers on duty allege Orrock threatened them saying “move it right away or otherwise I will burn it down”.

He allegedly accused police of making him and his family a target.

Police say he was seen on CCTV footage using accelerant to set the car alight around 10 minutes later.

Orrock was refused bail and is expected to face court again later this week.

On Friday, the State Government and police announced a dramatic crackdown on bikie gangs in Sydney.

Members of 23 outlaw motorcycle and crime gangs will be banned from wearing their colours in Kings Cross.

There are also moves in place to stop bikies owning tattoo parlours and they may soon be subject to police searches without warrants. Good luck with that, it seems they own 99% of them already…

UPDATE TODAY 21/04/12

THEY could be the sparks that finally turn Sydney’s bikie feud into all-out war.

A police paddy wagon carrying out surveillance on a Newtown tattoo parlour was reduced to a smoking ruin after being fire-bombed – allegedly by bikies – early yesterday.

Sam Ibrahim, former bikie and founder of the Parramatta chapter of the Nomads, at his mother's home in Merrylands

Just a few hours earlier the rented home of high-profile Nomads life member Sam Ibrahim was peppered with bullets – the 11th shooting this week.

“I think it’s fair to say the red light went on when we knew whose house had been hit,” a police source said.

A second house, until recently rented by a Nomads associate, was shot at in Rouse Hill. No one was injured and police believe the target was the earlier tenant.

Police said they were out in force on Thursday night as part of the newly created Strike Force Kinarra, set up after five shootings on Tuesday morning.

Scott Orrock's defection from the Nomads to the Hells Angels is believed to be one of the reasons behind the conflict

In Newtown they were keeping a close eye on the tattoo parlour – known to be frequented by bikie members and a target of several previous shootings.

The paddy wagon was a tactic. Sources said parlours owner Scott Orrock, a former Nomads boss turned Hells Angel, complained multiple times about the police vehicle being there.

Police said Mr Orrock made threats toward the vehicle, claiming that its presence was “affecting trade”.

At 3am emergency crews were called to King St, where the vehicle had been doused and set alight while it was unattended.

Police yesterday confirmed Mr Orrock had been spoken to about the torching and the matter was under investigation. He has not been charged.

Mr Orrock’s “patch over” from the Nomads to the Hells Angels is believed to be one of the reasons the two rival gangs are warring, a police source said.

Assistant Commissioner Nick Kaldas said six of the seven shootings this week had been linked to the turf war between the Hells Angels and Nomads.

He said it was fair to assume that the overnight shootings were “payback” for Tuesday’s drive-bys.

“This is a criminal culture, not an ethnic one. Instead of having a punch up face-to-face, they wait until he goes to bed and then shoot up his house knowing his wife and children are in there asleep,” he said.

As senior police and intelligence analysts held strategy meetings late yesterday to prepare for reprisal attacks, the state government scrambled to announce tough new powers including banning bikies from owning or operating tattoo parlours or wearing their colours in Kings Cross.

“No one in NSW is above the law and we are serious about ensuring police have all the tools they need to bring a halt to the shooting spree which has hit our city,” Premier Barry O’Farrell said.

The package, to go to cabinet on Monday, will give the Police Commissioner power to refuse a licence to own or operate a tattoo parlour and amend the Crimes Act to add tattoo parlours to the list of banned activities for criminal organisations.

The Law Enforcement Act would be amended to allow drug detection dogs into tattoo parlours without a warrant.

After 10 shootings in 10 days, frustrated police yesterday lashed out at “petty” criminals who have replaced punch-ups with pistols. These so-called gangsters shooting each other in the leg and other non fatal areas shows they are not fair dinkum. They are not shooting to kill, but to gain some piss weak notoriety over petty issues in the bigger scheme of things. The best thing that can happen for these bright eyed wannabe’s is they get rounded up and convicted and sentenced to massive MINIMUM jail terms for first time offenders for their little pot shots.

Sydney Shootings 2011-2012

NEIGHBOURHOOD disputes that were once sorted out with fist fights have escalated into almost nightly gun battles on Sydney’s streets.

After 10 shootings in 10 days, frustrated police yesterday lashed out at “petty” criminals who have replaced punch-ups with pistols.

Senior officers said many of the incidents were over “petty” drug deals and turf wars, along the lines of the ghetto gangs of New York and Los Angeles.

“Where they used to sort it out with a punch-up behind the servo, now they are using guns,” a police source said.

“The bulk of the shootings are just low-level conflicts between crooks.”

Assistant Commissioner Frank Mennilli said the latest gun victim had sent police on a wild goose chase.

He said officers spent hours inspecting Lisgar St, Merrylands, where a 20-year-old man claimed he was shot just after midnight yesterday. He took himself to Westmead Hospital with a wounded leg.

Families must act to end gun feuds

THE quantitative data on Sydney‘s recent eruption of shootings is bad enough. Ten shootings in 10 days is a truly damning statistic.

Pressure’s on over hot firearms

THE FACTS

Gun stats and facts

THERE is a large domestic black market of tens of thousands of illegal guns, the Australian Crime Commission boss John Lawler will tell state and federal ministers today.

The briefing in Canberra comes as the state government puts pressure on the federal government to do more to control the borders to stop illegal weapons getting in.

NSW Police Minister Mike Gallacher has written to Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare asking for an urgent summit on the gun-crime situation.

But Mr Clare said the meeting today of attorneys-general was sufficient.

“The meeting the minister is asking for is happening today and will be attended by the NSW Attorney-General,” Mr Clare said.

“The Australian Crime Commission is working with state police on this right now.

“Police commissioners from around the country will meet with federal agencies in June to discuss the results of the investigation and recommendations to put to government.”

 NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith said he would be looking for agreement from all attorneys-general today to “maximise the effort against organised crime”.

“If the Commonwealth looked at drawing up national laws against outlaw gangs it would strengthen the fight.

“The federal government is spending billions of dollars in their failed attempt to patrol our borders for illegal boat entries. There is no reason why some more money can’t be found to better patrol our borders for guns,” he said.

Former policeman Tim Priest said the only way to stop the shootings was to introduce mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years for firing at a person or 10 years for firing into buildings.

Cracking the code of shooting silence

Crime scene at the Bada Bing strip club in Kings Cross

AS the wall of silence around Sydney’s spate of shootings begins to crack, police have used Crime Commission four times since January

“There is no evidence of a crime scene, there are no projectiles, there is no blood stain, there is nothing there,” said Mr Mennilli, head of Operation Spartan, set up to target the gun crime.

Mr Mennilli said the victim was known to police and had behaved like many others who had been targeted in the past 10 days, during which seven people have been wounded.

“They are doing nothing to assist investigators in trying to resolve the crime,” he said.

On Friday afternoon, five days before the Merrylands shooting, a well-known criminal was shot just four streets away, in Patten St.

Again, instead of calling for an ambulance, the 24-year-old staggered into the same emergency department with gunshot wounds to his legs.

Witnesses said they had seen two men arguing but both fled before police arrived. Officers are treating the shootings as linked. Both men have been discharged from hospital and are still claiming not to know their attacker.

A police source said it was significant that victims were being targeted in the legs.

“If they wanted to kill each other, they would aim for the torso. They just want to warn and terrorise. It is replacing the fist fight with a firearm,” the source said.

Alongside these “petty” shootings, authorities are bracing for the possibility of fresh warfare between the Hells Angels and Comanchero after former Comanchero national president Mick Hawi was jailed for a maximum 28 years in a Sydney court on Tuesday over the murder of Hells Angels associate Anthony Zervas at Sydney Airport in March 2009.

Police yesterday revealed a significant number of shootings are linked to the Hells Angels and Comanchero feud, with a second war between the Hells Angels and Notorious.

“The battleground is western Sydney but the prize is Kings Cross,” a police source said. While the infamous Cross traditionally belonged to the Nomads, with the birth of breakaway group Notorious in 2007 the ownership changed.

Meanwhile, police last night laid charges against two men in relation to several shootings tacross Auburn, Arncliffe and Rockdale since last December.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at a unit in Punchbowl after police found a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and a loaded magazine with additional live cartridges hidden in a ceiling cavity.

Two vials of steroids were also seized from a bedroom during the search.

The boy was charged with possessing a prohibited pistol and granted conditional bail to appear at Parramatta Children’s Court next month.

A Padstow Heights man was also taken into custody after police seized at least one prohibited pistol at his home address.

The 34-year-old was charged with possessing a prohibited pistol and offering to supply a prohibited pistol.

He was refused bail to face Bankstown Local Court today.

The Crims’ code and vigilante shootings in Sydney-BIKIES AT WAR CONFIRMED


UPDATE 1 TODAY 22/04/12

Latest Sydney shooting death not linked to bikies

Police say a man shot dead in Sydney’s south-west overnight had been involved in a number of earlier shootings, although none linked to bikie gang violence.

Detectives have established a crime scene near the intersection of Bell Street and Schofield Street at Riverwood after a man was gunned down just after midnight.

Police say paramedics tried to revive him, but he died at the scene.

A man was arrested a short time later and is being questioned at Campsie Police Station.

Police superintendent Steve Blackmore says the victim, aged in his 30s, is believed to have been killed because of a personal feud over a debt that was owed.

Superintendent Blackmore says both men were known to police, and the victim had previously been involved in public shootings.

The public has been urged to avoid the area while they investigate.

The latest incident comes after a spate of shootings in Sydney over the past two weeks.

The New South Wales Government has announced measures targeting outlaw motorcycle gangs, which they hope will reduce the recent spate of shootings.

 

UPDATE 2 TODAY 22/04/12

Bikie refused bail after allegedly torching police van

Updated April 22, 2012 17:10:28

Related Story: Bikie charged over torched police van

A Sydney bikie has been refused bail after allegedly threatening police and torching a police van that was parked near his tattoo parlour on Friday.

Scott Orrock is a former boss of the Nomads bikie gang, but has recently switched allegiances to the rival gang, Hells Angels.

Police say his defection is one of the reasons for the recent surge in gang violence across Sydney.

The 47-year-old faced court today charged with setting a police car on fire while it was parked near his tattoo parlour in inner city Newtown.

In documents tendered to court, police allege Orrock went to the local police station around 3:00am on Friday in an agitated manner and asked them to move the van.

The four officers on duty allege Orrock threatened them saying “move it right away or otherwise I will burn it down”.

He allegedly accused police of making him and his family a target.

Police say he was seen on CCTV footage using accelerant to set the car alight around 10 minutes later.

Orrock was refused bail and is expected to face court again later this week.

On Friday, the State Government and police announced a dramatic crackdown on bikie gangs in Sydney.

Members of 23 outlaw motorcycle and crime gangs will be banned from wearing their colours in Kings Cross.

There are also moves in place to stop bikies owning tattoo parlours and they may soon be subject to police searches without warrants. Good luck with that, it seems they own 99% of them already…

UPDATE TODAY 21/04/12

THEY could be the sparks that finally turn Sydney’s bikie feud into all-out war.

A police paddy wagon carrying out surveillance on a Newtown tattoo parlour was reduced to a smoking ruin after being fire-bombed – allegedly by bikies – early yesterday.

Sam Ibrahim, former bikie and founder of the Parramatta chapter of the Nomads, at his mother's home in Merrylands

Just a few hours earlier the rented home of high-profile Nomads life member Sam Ibrahim was peppered with bullets – the 11th shooting this week.

“I think it’s fair to say the red light went on when we knew whose house had been hit,” a police source said.

A second house, until recently rented by a Nomads associate, was shot at in Rouse Hill. No one was injured and police believe the target was the earlier tenant.

Police said they were out in force on Thursday night as part of the newly created Strike Force Kinarra, set up after five shootings on Tuesday morning.

Scott Orrock's defection from the Nomads to the Hells Angels is believed to be one of the reasons behind the conflict

In Newtown they were keeping a close eye on the tattoo parlour – known to be frequented by bikie members and a target of several previous shootings.

The paddy wagon was a tactic. Sources said parlours owner Scott Orrock, a former Nomads boss turned Hells Angel, complained multiple times about the police vehicle being there.

Police said Mr Orrock made threats toward the vehicle, claiming that its presence was “affecting trade”.

At 3am emergency crews were called to King St, where the vehicle had been doused and set alight while it was unattended.

Police yesterday confirmed Mr Orrock had been spoken to about the torching and the matter was under investigation. He has not been charged.

Mr Orrock’s “patch over” from the Nomads to the Hells Angels is believed to be one of the reasons the two rival gangs are warring, a police source said.

Assistant Commissioner Nick Kaldas said six of the seven shootings this week had been linked to the turf war between the Hells Angels and Nomads.

He said it was fair to assume that the overnight shootings were “payback” for Tuesday’s drive-bys.

“This is a criminal culture, not an ethnic one. Instead of having a punch up face-to-face, they wait until he goes to bed and then shoot up his house knowing his wife and children are in there asleep,” he said.

As senior police and intelligence analysts held strategy meetings late yesterday to prepare for reprisal attacks, the state government scrambled to announce tough new powers including banning bikies from owning or operating tattoo parlours or wearing their colours in Kings Cross.

“No one in NSW is above the law and we are serious about ensuring police have all the tools they need to bring a halt to the shooting spree which has hit our city,” Premier Barry O’Farrell said.

The package, to go to cabinet on Monday, will give the Police Commissioner power to refuse a licence to own or operate a tattoo parlour and amend the Crimes Act to add tattoo parlours to the list of banned activities for criminal organisations.

The Law Enforcement Act would be amended to allow drug detection dogs into tattoo parlours without a warrant.

After 10 shootings in 10 days, frustrated police yesterday lashed out at “petty” criminals who have replaced punch-ups with pistols. These so-called gangsters shooting each other in the leg and other non fatal areas shows they are not fair dinkum. They are not shooting to kill, but to gain some piss weak notoriety over petty issues in the bigger scheme of things. The best thing that can happen for these bright eyed wannabe’s is they get rounded up and convicted and sentenced to massive MINIMUM jail terms for first time offenders for their little pot shots.

Sydney Shootings 2011-2012

NEIGHBOURHOOD disputes that were once sorted out with fist fights have escalated into almost nightly gun battles on Sydney’s streets.

After 10 shootings in 10 days, frustrated police yesterday lashed out at “petty” criminals who have replaced punch-ups with pistols.

Senior officers said many of the incidents were over “petty” drug deals and turf wars, along the lines of the ghetto gangs of New York and Los Angeles.

“Where they used to sort it out with a punch-up behind the servo, now they are using guns,” a police source said.

“The bulk of the shootings are just low-level conflicts between crooks.”

Assistant Commissioner Frank Mennilli said the latest gun victim had sent police on a wild goose chase.

He said officers spent hours inspecting Lisgar St, Merrylands, where a 20-year-old man claimed he was shot just after midnight yesterday. He took himself to Westmead Hospital with a wounded leg.

Families must act to end gun feuds

THE quantitative data on Sydney‘s recent eruption of shootings is bad enough. Ten shootings in 10 days is a truly damning statistic.

Pressure’s on over hot firearms

THE FACTS

Gun stats and facts

THERE is a large domestic black market of tens of thousands of illegal guns, the Australian Crime Commission boss John Lawler will tell state and federal ministers today.

The briefing in Canberra comes as the state government puts pressure on the federal government to do more to control the borders to stop illegal weapons getting in.

NSW Police Minister Mike Gallacher has written to Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare asking for an urgent summit on the gun-crime situation.

But Mr Clare said the meeting today of attorneys-general was sufficient.

“The meeting the minister is asking for is happening today and will be attended by the NSW Attorney-General,” Mr Clare said.

“The Australian Crime Commission is working with state police on this right now.

“Police commissioners from around the country will meet with federal agencies in June to discuss the results of the investigation and recommendations to put to government.”

 NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith said he would be looking for agreement from all attorneys-general today to “maximise the effort against organised crime”.

“If the Commonwealth looked at drawing up national laws against outlaw gangs it would strengthen the fight.

“The federal government is spending billions of dollars in their failed attempt to patrol our borders for illegal boat entries. There is no reason why some more money can’t be found to better patrol our borders for guns,” he said.

Former policeman Tim Priest said the only way to stop the shootings was to introduce mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years for firing at a person or 10 years for firing into buildings.

Cracking the code of shooting silence

Crime scene at the Bada Bing strip club in Kings Cross

AS the wall of silence around Sydney’s spate of shootings begins to crack, police have used Crime Commission four times since January

“There is no evidence of a crime scene, there are no projectiles, there is no blood stain, there is nothing there,” said Mr Mennilli, head of Operation Spartan, set up to target the gun crime.

Mr Mennilli said the victim was known to police and had behaved like many others who had been targeted in the past 10 days, during which seven people have been wounded.

“They are doing nothing to assist investigators in trying to resolve the crime,” he said.

On Friday afternoon, five days before the Merrylands shooting, a well-known criminal was shot just four streets away, in Patten St.

Again, instead of calling for an ambulance, the 24-year-old staggered into the same emergency department with gunshot wounds to his legs.

Witnesses said they had seen two men arguing but both fled before police arrived. Officers are treating the shootings as linked. Both men have been discharged from hospital and are still claiming not to know their attacker.

A police source said it was significant that victims were being targeted in the legs.

“If they wanted to kill each other, they would aim for the torso. They just want to warn and terrorise. It is replacing the fist fight with a firearm,” the source said.

Alongside these “petty” shootings, authorities are bracing for the possibility of fresh warfare between the Hells Angels and Comanchero after former Comanchero national president Mick Hawi was jailed for a maximum 28 years in a Sydney court on Tuesday over the murder of Hells Angels associate Anthony Zervas at Sydney Airport in March 2009.

Police yesterday revealed a significant number of shootings are linked to the Hells Angels and Comanchero feud, with a second war between the Hells Angels and Notorious.

“The battleground is western Sydney but the prize is Kings Cross,” a police source said. While the infamous Cross traditionally belonged to the Nomads, with the birth of breakaway group Notorious in 2007 the ownership changed.

Meanwhile, police last night laid charges against two men in relation to several shootings tacross Auburn, Arncliffe and Rockdale since last December.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at a unit in Punchbowl after police found a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and a loaded magazine with additional live cartridges hidden in a ceiling cavity.

Two vials of steroids were also seized from a bedroom during the search.

The boy was charged with possessing a prohibited pistol and granted conditional bail to appear at Parramatta Children’s Court next month.

A Padstow Heights man was also taken into custody after police seized at least one prohibited pistol at his home address.

The 34-year-old was charged with possessing a prohibited pistol and offering to supply a prohibited pistol.

He was refused bail to face Bankstown Local Court today.

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