Detectives are poring through a long list of alleged ‘dial-a-dealer’ drug syndicate customers after seizing 36 phones during massive raids across Sydney.
One phone alone had 700 alleged customers on it – all of whom can expect to be contacted by investigators.
NSW Police say they are confident they’ve shut down the alleged Alameddine crime network after 18 men – all believed to be low and mid-level associates – were arrested on Tuesday morning in Sydney’s south-west.
The blitz follows a 10-month-long investigation into the organised crime group. Police said the raids have now brought down a major player in the NSW drug trade.
Some of the alleged dealers raked in more than $250,000 a week in alleged drug sales.
NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Paul Toole alleged the 700 numbers on one particular phone ‘were being used to go to suppliers and to dealers in relation to drugs’.
Eighteen men were arrested on Tuesday when police raided properties allegedly involve in a ‘dial-a-dealer’ syndicate in Sydney’s southwest
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
‘I think it’s certainly a huge breakthrough yesterday,’ he told The Today Show on Wednesday.
‘Just by the number of arrests that were made. And just the number of telephones that have actually been collected. This is giving our police more information, more data, more intelligence, as well.
‘When you have a phone there that has been dealing and it could make around $250,000 a week, that’s just incredible.
‘And this is dealing with drugs. We’re not just talking about a small portion of drugs, we’re talking a smorgasbord of drugs that were actually found in the last couple of days.’
Cocaine, MDMA, ecstasy, cannabis, stacks of cash and luxury watches and jewellery were all found during the raids on Tuesday morning.
The 18 men arrested 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 the alleged crooks were taken away in handcuffs – one wearing just his undies.
The alleged dial-a-dealer syndicate utilised 36 phones, some raking in more than $250,000 a week in alleged drug sales
One phone with 700 contacts in it was seized during the raids in Sydney’s southwest on Tuesday
The raids were carried out in Sydney suburbs Guildford, Merrylands, Chester Hill, South Granville, Casula, Yagoona and Wentworthville.
Among the arrested men were Rafat Alameddine’s brother-in-law, Assaad Alahmad.
Trent Jeske, another alleged mid-ranking member of the group, was also arrested.
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’.
More arrests are expected to be made in the coming days.
Tuesday’s raids follow a string of fatal shootings around Sydney.
In the past 18 months there’s been 14 people killed on suburban streets in gang violence in the city’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.
NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said she was confident police had ‘cut the head off the snake’, shutting down the syndicate altogether
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
Tarek Zahed (seated) and his brother Omar (standing) were gunned down outside a gym in Sydney’s west earlier this month
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.
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 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.
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.