Friends and family of Sydney underworld crime boss Mahmoud ‘Brownie’ Ahmad have attended a wild wake for the slain kingpin, amid fears of further gangland violence.
Up to 60 mourners met at a home on Canterbury Street in Punchbowl, in Sydney’s southwest, to pay their respects to the 39-year-old on Monday evening.
It was a tense atmosphere when men, women and children began to arrive at about 7pm and greeted their fellow guests with hugs and pleasantries before heading inside.
NSW Police made sure their presence was known with at least four squad cars parking in different locations around the home.
Friends and family of Sydney underworld crime boss Mahmoud ‘Brownie’ Ahmad have attended a wild wake for the slain kingpin
Up to 60 mourners met at a home on Canterbury Street in Punchbowl, in Sydney’s southwest, to pay their respects to Ahmad, also known as ‘Mr Big’
An even split of men and women were seen arriving at a home in Punchbowl on Monday night
Mahmoud ‘Brownie’ Ahmad was gunned down while visiting an associate in a suburban street in Greenacre at 9.30pm last Wednesday night
Police told Daily Mail Australia officers were ‘conducting high-visibility patrols in the area to ensure the safety and security of the community’ as authorities brace for more bloodshed.
At one point in the evening catering was dropped off to guests, while others attendees made trips to the nearby shops or stepped outside for a cigarette.
The sombre mood was palpable with no music or prayers heard from outside the building before guests started dispersing at about 8:30pm.
Ahmad, also known as ‘Mr Big’ in criminal circles, was gunned down while visiting an associate in a suburban street in Greenacre, western Sydney, at about 9.30pm last Wednesday night.
Men, women and children began to arrive at about 7pm and greeted their fellow guests with hugs and pleasantries before going inside
At one point in the evening catering was dropped off to guests, with others seen making trips to the nearby shops or stepping outside for a cigarette
NSW Police made their presence known with at least four squad cars parked at different locations surrounding the home that hosted the wake
His brazen execution came after a $1million bounty was placed on his head and several warnings from police that an attack was imminent.
Authorities fear the brutal execution will spark yet another escalation in the bloody gang war raging on Sydney’s streets.
Ahmad had only recently been released from prison after serving five years for the manslaughter of an underworld rival at a Sydney scrap yard in 2016.
The kingpin shot in a hale of bullets with authorities saying it was a ‘miracle’ nobody else was hurt.
‘My understanding is a lot of people were in the street at the time,’ Homicide Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty said last week.
Police have appealed for other people in the area at the time to come forward, particularly those with mobile phone or dashcam footage.
There was no music or prayers heard from outside the building in Sydney’s Punchbowl
Another police vehicle is seen parked near where the wake was held on Monday evening
Sombre guests started to arrive at the Punchbowl home at about 7pm for the wake before dispersing at about 8:30pm
Paramedics tried to treat Ahmad for his injuries but he died at the scene.
The gunman fled with a Porsche four-wheel-drive and a black BMW both found on fire a short time later.
A local resident recalled the car driving ‘normally’ rather than speeding from the scene after hearing several loud bangs.
‘It was four banging noises at 9.32pm,’ they told Nine’s Today show.
‘And then I heard a car drive off. It just drove off normally – it didn’t drive off quickly.
‘There’s always things happening in Greenacre – that’s just the way it is.’
Officers from Homicide Squad, Criminal Groups and Raptor Squads attended the crime scene
Police had been scouring multiple crime scenes, including the street where Ahmad was gunned down on Wednesday night. Pictured are two men who claimed to live on the street.
Another neighbour described the scenes that followed the brazen attack on the crime boss as ‘pandemonium’.
‘Police, all my neighbours, we were all on the street,’ 34-year-old Zarif told Daily Mail Australia last week.
‘I’d like to say I’m surprised but I don’t know, I don’t know if he was a very good person.’
Detectives have since returned to the cul-de-sac near where Ahmad was shot with sniffer dogs to comb the scene for clues.
Officers were also seen speaking to and taking statements from both bystanders and locals who lived in the vicinity.
Bullet holes were evident in the side of a white ute with tinted black windows which was removed at about 10.30am.
Police are looking at a long list of ‘persons of interest’ and suspects who may have been involved in Ahmad’s death but are keeping an open mind.
Mahmoud ‘Brownie’ Ahmad (pictured) died at the scene, despite attempts to revive him
Police are looking at a long list of ‘persons of interest’ and suspects who may have been involved in Ahmad’s death but are keeping an open mind
‘The intention was to kill him and they were going to do that by firing as many bullets at him as they could,’ Detective Superintendent Doherty said.
‘He’s been warned in the past he was a marked man but he didn’t heed those warnings.’
Just last October, Ahmad dodged another attempt on his life when he was tipped off about a planned hit on him in broad daylight at a park at Rushcutters Bay.
Detective Superintendent Doherty said Ahmad had put himself in ‘imminent danger’ by continuing about his normal business in the face of threats.
‘His life was always going to be in danger. He was always going to end up on a slab in a morgue or end up back in jail,’ he said.
‘Unfortunately for him, he’s in the morgue as we speak.’
The gunman fled with a Porsche four-wheel-drive and a black BMW both found on fire a short time later. Police are investigating if the two incidents are linked
Bullet holes were evident in the side of a white ute with tinted black windows which was removed from the cordoned-off scene at about 10.30am
Ahmad pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Safwan Charbaji in 2016 shortly after returning to Australia from Lebanon where he had fled in the aftermath.
He served five years in prison and was only released six months ago.
Charbaji was shot in a gunfight outside a south-west Sydney smash repair business owned by Ahmed’s brother Walid ‘Wally’ Ahmed.
Wally Ahmad was himself shot dead on the rooftop carpark of Bankstown Centro shopping centre weeks later.
Seven cars in total have so far been towed from the crime scene, including this blue one
Ahmad (pictured) pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Safwan Charbaji in 2016 shortly after returning to Australia from Lebanon where he had fled in the aftermath
Afterwards he briefly left Sydney for the Middle East and when he returned had been surrounding himself with allies in a bid for protection.
Since 2020, NSW Police have focused considerable resources on a gangland war between the Alameddine and Hamzy groups which has seen at least seven killed.
NSW Police assistant commissioner Peter Thurtell previously said there was no doubt the ongoing gang wars on the streets of western Sydney are drug related.
‘They are organised criminal groups targeting each other,’ Asst Comm Thurtell said.