As tension brews between rival bikie gangs across Sydney, police on Wednesday raided 13 homes connected to Hells Angels members in a bid to prevent a full-scale bikie war.
But the raids, focused on Sydney’s east and south-east, and the north-west suburbs, were planned well in advance of the latest bloodshed, during which a Comanchero-affiliated man was shot in the neck in a targeted attack on Tuesday night.
Sources told Fairfax Media the shooting of Bassil Hijazi, 19, as he sat in his car on Prince Street in Bexley after a car chase on Tuesday night appeared to be an example of internal Comanchero conflict.
The same street was the scene of a drive-by shooting on March 13 last year, in which a number of bullets were fired into the front of a home, narrowly missing two children, aged 9 and 10, and their parents.
But last week, two men – Hells Angels nominee Tyrone Lee Slemnik and Ali Jammas, who also had motorcycle gang links – were shot dead in separate incidents in Sydney.
Mr Slemnik’s death in Eastlakes is believed to have been part of an ongoing turf war between the Hells Angels and Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gangs, while police were investigating whether Mr Jammas’ death in Abbotsbury was also bikie-related.
Police said the raids, in Eastlakes, Brighton Le Sands, Maroubra, Rosebery, Mascot, Condell Park, Auburn, Narwee, Cranebrook, Northmead and Kellyville, were not related to the men’s deaths.
Gangs Squad commander Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis said the raids involved more than 100 officers, who seized cocaine, ”ice”, prescription drugs, a fake explosive device, steroids, encrypted mobile phones, ammunition and cash.
A loaded .32 calibre pistol was also taken from a 31-year-old man said to be a ”senior office bearer” in the Hells Angels, who was arrested at a city hotel during the operation. He was expected to be charged overnight.
Superintendent Katsogiannis said territorial disputes and revenge attacks were suspected as being behind the spate of shootings in recent days, but that other criminals may seek to use this conflict ”as a smokescreen”.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.