73 Arrested In Alleged Mafia-Like Crime Syndicate
Kidnapping, extortion and murder are among their alleged crimes.
A three year investigation by NSW Police into an alleged large Sydney crime syndicate has resulted in 73 people being charged.
Police say some of the alleged perpetrators were for former bikie members and combined they face 660 charges.
Police told a media contingent on Saturday the group allegedly grew out of the Burwood chapter of the Rebels bikie gang into a large and complex network that worked in conjunction with multiple crime groups.
"Ultimately the investigation has reached a crescendo and arrests have occurred," Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith told reporters on Saturday.
"The offences are the essence of what we are alleging this syndicate was involved in including kidnapping, extortion and murder," Smith said.
Police also seized 92 firearms in a single seizure, over 1300 firearms and 12600 rounds in total.
Smith described the syndicate as "violent" and said the police force is working towards even more arrests as they process the 115,000 hours of digital surveillance they've gathered.
They were violent in nature, they operated very similar to the mafia. Their status and their profiteering was at the centre of their crime.
A major part of the police investigation was breaking down the complex business model the alleged syndicate operated. Undercover police officers were deployed to purchase drugs and firearms from the group so they could understand how the business functioned.
Smith also said the police operation had to be kept top secret so they could slowly dismantle the syndicate.
"In terms of criminal syndicates this was very difficult [to break it down], it has taken years to break down this business model."
The group also allegedly worked with other criminal groups, where they would undertake contracted tasks to boost profits.
"These individuals have made themselves available in contract killings, kidnappings, money collection. When you see the 660 charges you certainly, as a community member, would be concerned."
On Thursday, a 29-year-old individual appeared before Parramatta District Court charged with directing criminal activities of a syndicate. It's also alleged the person was involved in a number of murders and conspiracies to murder. Police believe this person is one of the syndicate's ring-leaders.
"I think in terms of State Crime Command and NSW Police this is the largest singular investigation into a organised crime syndicate carrying out such violent activity over a long period of time that we have ever undertaken," Smith said.
Real estate agents, IT professionals and mortgage brokers among others are alleged to be part of the group.
The investigation is continuing, and police are looking to make further arrests in the future.
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