Sydney’s “untouchables” Drug bust

UNTIL yesterday they were Sydney’s “untouchables” – a select group of alleged drug lords who police believe masterminded a narcotics network that stretched across Australia.

Police claim they ran six organised distribution syndicates from suburban and country bases, earned millions of dollars and flouted the law for three decades.

“Today we haven’t taken a tentacle off the beast, we’ve removed a very, very big beast,” NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said yesterday. “We further allege that among those that are in custody are a number of major players in the Australian drugs trade, names you’ll instantly recognise.

“A number of the people who were arrested today were people I started working on 30 years ago, when I started working in the police force.”

Just how they ended up in custody is remarkable – a complex series of raids on 37 different locations, a police operation that cost $1.2 million but has already netted many times more than that in confiscated drugs, money and goods.

Related Coverage

Shortly after dawn broke yesterday, more than 500 police officers raced into action in Sydney, the Central Coast and Mudgee.

By day’s end, 202 charges had been laid against 28 men and three women over their alleged roles in the commercial supply of illegal drugs.

Police seized 16.7kg of material thought to be cocaine, 5848 tabs of LSD, 30 cannabis plants, 29kg of precursor chemicals, four firearms and 600 bullets.

Some of the alleged drug kingpins lead modest lives to hide their alleged business interests, while others travel in luxury imported cars or even helicopters.

One man was arrested at a Cronulla housing commission block; another had an $800,000 mortgage; the wife of a third was on a single mum’s pension.

The home of Montreal Olympian Warren Richards – a fortified brick house at Croydon Park – was raided at 6am.

The 60-year-old appeared in Burwood Local Court late yesterday, his wife and daughter watching from the gallery.

He is charged with 18 counts of drug supply and distribution.

He did not seek bail.

Richards represented Australia in judo at the 1976 Games.

One of Richards’ co-accused, Henry Charles Landini, will appear at Bankstown Local Court today, while Victor Camilleri was refused bail yesterday.

Police allege they played major roles at “the top of the tree” of a nationwide drug syndicate.

As Richards was being arrested, the luxury Kogarah unit of co-accused Tarek Barakat was being raided. Police sources said the 34-year-old broke down in tears when he was taken into custody.

His ‘Neptune blue’ Maserati Quattroporte sportscar was searched and then confiscated. He was charged with nine drug offences and refused bail.

Further north, tactical response officers and the dog squad raided Michael Abdallah’s Denham Court mansion.

In Liverpool Local Court, police alleged that Abdallah sold undercover officers more than 1kg of cocaine since June from the home he shares with his family.

Organised crime squad Detective Superintendent Mick Plotecki has co-ordinated the confiscation of $9.1 million in cash and more than $14 million worth of real estate, luxury cars and aircraft since November 2009.


About these ads

6 thoughts on “Sydney’s “untouchables” Drug bust

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Sydney’s “untouchables” Drug bust « Aussie Criminals and Crooks --

  2. What a huge load of police propaganda. I know Warren very well and can say without doubt that they are accusing him of leading this so called operation simply so they can attach a well known name to it and justify the expense.
    Warren was not leading any sindicate whatsoever and has been struggling to pay police off over a previous matter in order to not lose his farm at mudgee. The story portraying kingpins living the high life in aircraft and luxury cars just isnt true. Warren has been struggling to pay police debts, driving an old bomb and working his ass off to keep the police debt collectors off his back. I cant beleive the lies being spouted by police and media about his involvement and am surprised as it will bias any court proceedings and make him out to be way more involved than he was. Steve


  3. Something is not right why have no names been released If they are so called Kingpins why are there identities being protected.
    One of the so called raids in the rural area they got a couple of aspirins $27.90 in cash a 1985 Commodore a 1990 Hi Luxe,but at least 2 people had ties to an outlaw motorcycle club wow what a successful raid
    Looks like political spin before an election


    • Bit of hype I reckon max? How about you, as we know they pump up the “Jam ” by 100% minimum for a better story but big wigs etc? Shit I know bigger dealers walking around 30 minutes from me….King pins would be laughing their millionaire heads off as they sip lattes at a cafe reading the Australian about this, spewing their crew did not get a mention brother.


  4. Good to see others can see what a crock of shit this is. Warren has been retired for years and just scratching here and there to pay his debts to police. Now he is being crucified by the coppers because they need a couple of notorious names involved to help boost up the succesfulness of the bust. As for the rest of the story what a load of shit, says in another article what a hard man he is and how he threatened to take out six police in 1993, truth is that they were harassing him so bad at the time that he motioned at them with his fingers like a gun and that was it. Now the poor guy is going to be thrown to the wolves so they can justify the 1.2 million it cost for the bust. Warren was doing it that hard making ends meet that last time i saw him a couple of months back his pool was green because he couldnt afford to replace the filter, hardly a kingpin driving around in helicopters and maseratis ……. Hopefully a jury will see through this crock of shit. Warren did have a past but he paid for it and was doing the right thing. Lets not see him put away for minor involvement in what was probably a case of entrapment again.


Comments are closed.