Death of the Brothers 4 Life gang: it destroyed itself in an explosion of ego and violence
The Daily Telegraph
January 10, 2014
THE downfall of the Brothers 4 Life gang began at Bankstown Hospital in February last year.
Lying on a bed was a 24-year-old B4L gang member with a bullet in his right knee and another in his left thigh.
The lifestyle of drug running and gang association had clearly caught up with him – he’d had enough.
Faced with the option of keeping quiet or turning around his life, he made a decision to turn informant.
Until then, police had no one inside the gang – finally they had made the all-important breakthrough.
Today he is a key Crown witness, known by the pseudonym of Victim A. Before Victim A, police intelligence on B4L was minimal.
As if taunting police, some B4L members registered cars with the numberplate “MEOC” and had the same word – an acronym for the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad – tattooed on their necks.
But, like pulling on a thread, everything began to unravel after Victim A.
Within months, senior figures were being locked up and charges were being laid over unsolved shootings.
Gangland Boss arrested 0:30
Everything appeared to simmer down until last July when gangland figure Farhad Qaumi, arrested on Wednesday, stepped on to the scene – allegedly assuming control of the Blacktown region and setting up a chapter stacked with Afghan members.
Tension soon followed, mainly over drug turf, prompting a series of tit-for-tat shootings, attempted assassinations and at least one murder. The conflict reached its peak on October 31 with the murder of Mahmoud Hamzy at Revesby Heights. Hamzy was gunned down by at least two gunmen outside Mohammed Hamzy’s home.
Eight days later, NSW Police began making its first major arrests of gang members, taking out its Bankstown chapter from the top down. Its leader Mohammed Hamzy was first to be locked up, charged by the Homicide Squad with the murder of fellow B4L member Yehye Amood at Greenacre in 2012.
Another senior Bankstown chapter member, Omar Ajaj, was also arrested and charged over a separate shooting of fellow gang member Alex Ali, which occurred only a few days prior to the Amood murder.
Although police predicted a partial end to the gang after the initial arrests, gangland violence continued.
One case still being investigated is the murder of businessman Joe Antoun, 50, at his Strathfield home on December 16. Antoun’s business partner, Vasko Boskovski, 35, died in similar circumstances on July 30.
Another case under investigation is the attempted assassination of Qaumi himself as he sat aboard a luxury yacht on New Year’s Day.
BALLISTIC TESTS TIE GUNS TO CRIMES
BALLISTIC tests on firearms seized by police during investigations into the arrest of three Brothers for Life members have linked the guns to a number of crimes, police said yesterday.
Three handguns and two shotguns were allegedly found during investigations which led to the arrests of BFL leader Farhad Qaumi, 31, his brother Mumtaz, 29, and Masieh Amiri, 27, on Wednesday in Sydney and on the Central Coast.
“Testing has been carried out and linked the weapons to shootings,” Detective Superintendent Debbie Wallace, head of the Middle Eastern Crime Squad, said.
Strike force Sitella is investigating the group for links to seven shootings and a serious assault in the last half of 2013. The NSW Homicide Squad is also investigating the street gang’s involvement in three recent Sydney murders but no additional charges have been laid against any of the accused.
The elder Qaumi has been the target of police investigation since the setting up of the strike force.
He was shot by a gunman while on the luxury yacht Oscar II at Rose Bay Wharf on New Year’s Day, where up to 20 bullets were fired at the vessel.
He was placed under 24-hour surveillance soon after the shooting, leading to his and the others arrests on Wednesday.
Farhad Qaumi, his brother Mumtaz, and Masieh Amiri, were refused bail yesterday on a variety of charges, including gun possession and drug distribution.
Bondi shooting victim in Brothers 4 Life 2:18
Farhad Qaumi: the rise and bloody fall of a brutal gangster
The Daily Telegraph
January 09, 2014
ON the streets he is known as “The Afghan”. At the age of 31 Farhad Qaumi has carved out a reputation as a player in Sydney’s gangland.
But yesterday he was under arrest after a dramatic swoop by police involving heavily armed officers outside a Central Coast hotel.
Officers are hailing the arrest as one of the most significant coups in the fight against Brothers 4 Life.
His induction to the B4L gang early last year prompted a wave of internal fighting, public shootings and the murder of at least one man, Mahmoud Hamzy, in October.
Only last week Qaumi, a high-value target for the NSW Police Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad, was at the centre of headlines after he was the victim of a shooting while on a luxury yacht on New Year’s Day.
One account of the night, confirmed by multiple sources, is that he was sitting with his back to a window on the boat when the gunshots rang out. But at that moment he knelt down to pick something up from the floor, causing a bullet to miss the bulk of his body and hit his shoulder.
We can also reveal the celebrations were in honour of a young and high-profile criminal identity who is expected to be sent to jail in the coming weeks over a drug bust.
Another man on the boat, Fawad Bari, 23, was arrested two days later during a vehicle stop on the M4. Police allegedly discovered a .38 revolver. Bari is accused of being aligned to Qaumi’s B4L faction. He denies this.
After months of investigations into Qaumi, police said they have now taken out the head of the Afghan-dominated Blacktown chapter and seven other of its members.
This includes Qaumi‘s two brothers, Jamil and Mumtaz, who are both behind bars. Jamil was charged on November 7 over a shooting involving rival gang members outside Bankstown‘s Chokolatta cafe while Mumtaz was arrested yesterday at a home in Wyong.
Mumtaz was also among those on board the luxury yacht on the night of the shooting
Qaumi’s induction to the gang occurred earlier this year and, according to police, came directly from its founder – Supermax prison inmate Bassam Hamzy.
The move would prove fatal for the gang. His appointment prompted immediate factional infighting between the group’s Bankstown and Blacktown chapters. The result has been almost a dozen shootings across Sydney, including the Hamzy murder.
Hamzy was gunned down outside the home of his cousin and Sydney gang leader Mohammed Hamzy, 28, at Revesby Heights.
Mohammed Hamzy has since been charged with the murder of B4L gang member Yehye Amood who was killed by gunfire while in a car at Greenacre in 2012.
The source of conflict between the Bankstown and Blacktown factions allegedly stems from a falling out over drug territory in the Blacktown area.