Police power up to stop Sydney gangland murders and shootings

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Police have launched a major new taskforce to break down “a wall of silence” and stop a bloody river of Sydney gangland assassinations and vicious retaliation shootings.
Today’s announcement follows two violent and deadly shootings in the past week, believed to involve warring rival factions and bikie gangs.

Taskforce Erebus will investigate how the fatal shooting incidents could be linked, as well as illicit drug distribution networks, gun supply, robbery and other criminal activities in the underworld groups.

Tarek (right) and Omar (left) Zahed were sprayed with bullets at the Bodyfit gym in Auburn on May 11, 2022.
Tarek (right) and Omar (left) Zahed were sprayed with bullets at the Bodyfit gym in Auburn on May 11. Omar died at the scene while Tarek survived despite being hit more than 10 times. (Supplied)
Comancheros bikie boss Tarek Zahed, 41, and his brother Omar, 39, were sprayed with bullets at the BodyFit gym in Auburn, in Sydney’s west, last week.

Tarek somehow miraculously survived, despite being hit ten times, including a shot to the head.

But his brother, Omar, died at the scene after fatal shots to his stomach, arms and legs.

On Saturday morning, possibly motivated by the brutal Zahed slaying, Rami Iskander was gunned down outside his Belmore home, also in Sydney’s west.
Rami Iskander, 23, was shot dead and he is related to slain gangster Mahmoud
Rami Iskander, 23, was shot dead on Saturday. He is related to slain gangster Mahmoud “Brownie” Ahmad. (9News)

Iskander was the nephew of Mahmoud “Brownie” Ahmad, a high-profile underworld figure assassinated outside a friend’s home in Greenacre several weeks earlier.

“We know the victims in these crimes associated in similar circles,” Detective Chief Superintendent Darren Bennett said.

“This taskforce allows for … examination of how those connections relate to the shootings, and possible motivations.”

Police have carried out targeted raids in recent days. (NSW Police)
Hundreds of people have been arrested and charged in recent months. (NSW Police)
NSW Police has launched a new task force to investigate recent gangland shootings. (NSW Police)

The community would likely play a big role in bringing the killers to justice, he said.

“When it comes to organised crime, investigators are up against a wall of silence,” Bennett said.

“Those connected to the victims, whether by blood, marriage or as an associate, are often unwilling to assist police, due to either misguided loyalties or fear of retribution.”

Police surround funeral of Omar Zahed.
Police surround the funeral of Omar Zahed. (9News)
Taskforce Erebus is being led by State Crime Command. (NSW Police)

Since October, NSW Police swoops on Sydney’s organised crime syndicates have led to more than 260 arrests, the seizure of almost 70 guns, 3000 rounds of ammo, $2.5 million cash and illegal drugs worth in excess of $4 million.

Multiple agencies have joined Taskforce Erebus, including the NSW Crime Commission, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and Australian Federal Police.

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