An accused member of the Alameddines crime network has been dragged out of his home in his undies as he’s arrested in a major crackdown on a ‘dial-a-dealer’ ring.
Eighteen men – all believed to be low- and mid-level associates of the Alameddine crew aged between 19 and 39 – were arrested on Tuesday morning after a 450-strong team of police officers raided 29 properties around Sydney’s south-west.
The blitz follows a 10-month-long investigation into the organised crime group, which police will allege has been dealing drugs throughout the city.
Police, desperate for a ‘win’ after a series of fatal shootings almost weekly in the suburbs, claim the raids have shut down an entire drug syndicate.
‘(We’ve) cut the head off the snake,’ Commissioner Karen Webb said.
The arrested men will be charged with crimes including drug supply, firearm, dealing with the proceeds of crime and direct or participate in a criminal group.
Dramatic footage shows police ramming down the doors of several homes, before they were taken away in handcuffs.
An accused member of the Alameddine crime crew was dragged out of his house by police in just a pair of Bonds underwear during raids in Sydney on Tuesday
Eighteen men were arrested around Sydney’s southwest on Tuesday morning over their alleged role in a drug syndicate
Pictured is one of the men arrested on Tuesday. The blitz follows a ten-month-long investigation into the organised crime group, which NSW Police will allege has been distributing drugs throughout the city
The man in his underwear was seen sitting on the side of the road barefoot, staring at the ground in handcuffs early on Tuesday morning.
He was given a pair of shorts and a t-shirt before he was taken to the police station.
One man in a wheelchair was also arrested during the raids, while another man put up his rude finger while his hands were cuffed behind his back.
The raids were carried out in Sydney suburbs Guildford, Merrylands, Chester Hill, South Granville, Casula, Yagoona and Wentworthville.
Also arrested were alleged members of the Alameddine crime crew, including Rafat Alameddine’s brother-in-law, Assaad Alahmad.
Trent Jeske, another alleged mid-ranking member of the group, was also arrested.
The crime network had allegedly been operating a sophisticated ‘dial-a-dealer’ scheme, which police allege was involved in supplying prohibited and prescription drugs across the state.
The raids were carried out as part of a large police investigation ran by Taskforce Erebus, the group recently established to coordinate investigations into a spate of fatal shootings in Sydney involving rival organised crime gangs.
A man in a wheelchair was also arrested on Tuesday after 29 properties were raided
One man accused of being involved in the drug syndicate puts up his middle fingers during his arrest
Police, desperate for a ‘win’ after a series of fatal shootings almost weekly in the city’s south-west, claimed an ‘entire’ syndicate was shut down as a result of Tuesday’s arrests
Police are seen speaking with one man arrested on Tuesday
Pictured from left to right are alleged Alameddine associates Ali Younes and Masood Zakaria, and Rafat Alameddine and Hamdi Alameddine. None were arrested in today’s raids
NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Paul Toole claimed police had ‘closed the net’ on one of Sydney’s most ‘dangerous crime families’.
NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said she was confident police had ‘cut the head off the snake’, shutting down the syndicate altogether.
She said those arrested on Tuesday didn’t appear to be employed but ‘displayed considerable wealth’.
Police claim mobile phones were seized which allegedly raked in more than $250,000 a week in drug deals.
The alleged dial-a-dealer syndicate utilised 36 phones, with one device having more than 700 customers.
NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said she was confident police had ‘cut the head off the snake’, shutting down the syndicate altogether
The alleged dial-a-dealer syndicate utilised 36 phones, with one device having more than 700 customers
More arrests are expected to be made in the coming days. Pictured is one man who was arrested on Tuesday morning
A new taskforce has been set up to investigate the fatal shooting of Rami Iskander, 23. Taskforce Erebus helped coordinate the raids of 20 properties across Sydney this week
Alleged Alameddine member Trent Jeske (pictured) was arrested on Tuesday after properties were raided across Sydney
Assistant Commissioner Mick Fitzgerald alleged the phones had ‘contributed to a number of murders’ over the past two years, with large amounts of cash and drugs such as cocaine, prescription drugs, MDMA and cannabis found during the raids.
Weapons, luxury watches and jewellery and cars were also found.
‘We believe we’ve had a significant impact on the Alameddine organised crime network – the drug distribution of that network has been dismantled today,’ he said.
More arrests are expected to be made in the coming days.
Over the past 18 months, 13 people have been killed in gang violence in Sydney’s west and southwest. Three executions have occurred in recent weeks.
The latest shooting occurred on May 14 when Rami Iskander, the nephew of slain gangland figure Mahmoud ‘Brownie’ Ahmad, was shot dead at his western Sydney home.
Iskander, 23, was shot in the chest in front of his pregnant wife and two-year-old child at his home on Knox Street at Belmore.
The young father was killed just weeks after his uncle Ahmad was sprayed with bullets outside a Greenacre home on April 27 after a $1million bounty was placed on his head.
A team of 450 police officers carried out the raids on Tuesday
Police had to ram the doors down of some residents before they were taken away in cuffs
Detectives are chasing down three theories trying to explain why Iskander was killed, including whether or not his enemies were trying to prevent him from avenging his father’s death.
Taskforce Erebus is examining the circumstances and links between recent fatal shootings as well as dozens of acts of violence and the supply of prohibited drugs, illicit firearms, vehicle theft and various other criminal activities.
The taskforce brings together Australian Federal Police, detectives in southwest Sydney, the NSW Crime Commission and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.
It also involves bikie busting strike force Raptor, which has made a name for itself with its heavy-handed tactics in recent years.
Earlier this month Comanchero boss Tarek, 41, and his brother Omar Zahed, 39, were gunned down while leaving a BodyFit gym on Parramatta Road in Auburn, western Sydney, on Tuesday.
Omar died at the scene while his older brother was rushed to hospital fighting for life after suffering with ten bullet wounds to his head and body.
The attack has left Tarek almost completely blind.
Police had told the brothers as recently as May 5 that their lives were at risk but their warnings went unheeded.
Homicide Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty said police are investigating possible motives for the assassination attempt, refusing to rule out the possibility of an inside job.
Police sources claim the Comanchero are in bed with the Alameddine crime family.
By extension, the Alameddines’ rivals the Hamzy family are considered enemies of the Comancheros.
Tarek Zahed (seated) and his brother Omar (standing) were gunned down outside a gym in Sydney’s west earlier this month
Police and paramedics are seen trying to save the two men at the gym after the shooting – with pools of blood seen across the foyer
Omar was laid to rest at the Rookwood Cemetery.
Shooting spree erupts in Sydney
The 23-year-old man who was shot in Belmore, Sydney’s south-west, was identified as Rami Iskander – the nephew of underworld figure Mahmoud ‘Brownie’ Ahmad.
It marks the 13th gangland-style execution to rock Sydney in the last 18 months.
Comanchero bikie Fares Abounader was the first victim in the long spate of shootings after he was killed in a drive-by attack in Panania, south-west Sydney, on August 29, 2020.
Mejid Hamzy was shot dead in Condell Park on October 19, 2020 and then Mustafa Naaman was killed in a suspected mistaken identity attack on Ibrahem Hamze on January 31, 2021.
Mejed Derbas, Shady Kanj, Ghassan Amoun and Mahmoud ‘Brownie’ Ahmad are among the people who have also been shot.
Comanchero bikies with links to the Alameddine clan, Tarek Zahed and his brother Omar were gunned down while leaving a gym in Auburn on May 10, 2022.
Mourners, some wearing balaclavas, arrived at the gravesite and embraced Muslim friends and family of the slain man.
Among them was underworld identity, Ahmed Elomar, the brother of ISIS terrorist Mohamed Elomar.
Elomar told Daily Mail Australia that Omar’s fatal shooting was evidence of the ‘shocking state of affairs for young Muslim men in Sydney’.
‘This generation is all over the place,’ he said.
‘What happened, who knows?’.
HOW THE UNDERWORLD HAS ERUPTED IN SYDNEY
AUGUST 29, 2020 – Fares Abounader, a Comanchero bikie was shot dead in a drive-by attack as his wife and young child were inside their Panania house.
OCTOBER 4, 2020 – Shaylin Zreika – an associate of the Alameddines – is beaten with a metal bar in a street fight in Strathfield
OCTOBER 18, 2020 – Rafat Alameddine’s former home is shot up in a drive-by shooting
OCTOBER 19, 2020 – Mejid Hamzy is shot dead in Condell Park
JANUARY 30, 2021 – Mustafa Naaman is shot dead in Hurstville in a suspected mistaken identity attack on Ibrahem Hamze
JANUARY 30, 2021 – Mejed Derbas is shot dead in Smithfield
FEBRUARY 15, 2021 – Bilal Hamze’s mother Maha Hamze comes under gunfire again in another drive-by shooting at her home in Auburn
MARCH 12, 2021 – A home linked to the Alameddine family in Guildford is shot up
AUGUST 6, 2021 – Alameddine low-level associate Shady Kanj is shot in Chester Hill and found dead by police in Guildford
AUGUST 14, 2021 – Police foil alleged gangland hit on Ibrahem Hamze when they spot stolen Mercedes in North Sydney
OCTOBER 20, 2021 – Salim and Toufik Hamze are gunned down outside their home in Guildford
NOVEMBER 10, 2021 – Drive-by shooting at Guildford home of Alameddine associate. No-one is hurt
JANUARY 6, 2022 – Brother of Bassam Hamzy, Ghassan Amoun, is shot dead at 35 years of age in a brazen daylight execution as he sat in a BMW outside an apartment building in Western Sydney.
APRIL, 4, 2022 – Mahmoud ‘Brownie’ Ahmad aka ‘Mr Big’ is gunned down in a hail of bullets – after being warned by police that he had a million-dollar bounty on his head for his role in deadly shooting in Greenacre.
MAY 10, 2022 – Comanchero bikies with links to the Alameddine clan, Tarek Zahed and his brother Omar were shot at while training at a gym in Auburn. Omar died at the seen while Tarek miraculously survived after being shot 10 times including in the face.
MAY 14: Rami Iskander, 23, was shot in the torso in front of his pregnant wife and two-year-old child at his home on Knox Street at Belmore just before 4am on Saturday. He is the nephew of Brownie Ahmad
MAY 15: NSW Police launch Strikeforce Erebus to try and tackle the growing problem of gang violence with the Australian Federal Police and intelligence agencies partnering with state cops to stop the bloodshed.