Tuesday, January 13, 2004


“The emergence of Middle Eastern crime groups was first observed in NSW in the mid 1990s. Before then, they had been known largely for individual acts of antisocial behaviour and for loose family structures involved in heroin importation and supply as well as motor vehicle theft and conversion.

The one crime that did appear organised before this period was insurance fraud, usually motor vehicle accidents and arson. Because these crimes were largely victimless, they were dealt with by insurance companies and police involvement was limited.

But from these insurance scams, a generation of young criminals emerged to engage in more sophisticated crimes – among them extortion, armed robbery, organised narcotics importation and supply, gun running, organised factory and warehouse break-ins, and car theft and conversion on a vast scale, including the exporting of stolen luxury vehicles to Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries.

With no organised-crime experience, no gang unit other than the South-East Asian Strike Force, the NSW Police turned against every convention known to Western policing in dealing with organised crime groups. In effect, the Lebanese crime gangs were handed the keys to the city of Sydney.

The most influential of the Middle Eastern crime groups are the Muslim males of Telopea Street, Bankstown, in southwest Sydney. The Telopea Street Boys and their associates have been involved in numerous murders over the past five years – many of them unprovoked attacks on young Australian men for no other reason than the ethnicity of the victims.

They have been involved in all manner of crime on a scale we have never before seen or even contemplated. Ram raids on expensive brand stores in the city are endemic. The theft of expensive motor vehicles known as car-jacking is increasing at an alarming rate. This crime involves gangs of Lebanese or Pacific Islander males finding a luxury motor vehicle parked outside a restaurant or hotel and watching until the occupants return to drive home. The car is followed, the victims assaulted at gunpoint and the vehicle stolen. The vehicles are always worth about $100,000 or more, and it is believed they are taken to warehouses before being shipped interstate or overseas to the Middle East.

The extent to which Middle Eastern crime gangs have moved into the drug market is breathtaking. They are now the main suppliers of cocaine in Sydney and are developing markets in southeastern Queensland and Victoria. They are leading suppliers of heroin in and around the inner city, southwest Sydney and western Sydney.

But what sets the Middle Eastern gangs apart from all other gangs is their propensity to use violence at any time and for any reason. Unlike their Vietnamese counterparts, Middle Eastern crime gangs roam the city and are not confined to Cabramatta or Chinatown. And even more alarming is that the violence is directed mainly against young Australian men and women. It is plain that violent attacks on our young men and women are racial as well as criminal.

Quite often when taking statements from young men attacked by groups of Lebanese males around Darling Harbour, a common theme that emerges is that the violence is racially motivated: the victims are attacked simply because they are Australian.

That groups of Middle Eastern males can roam a city and assault, rob and intimidate at will can no longer be denied or excused.

More here. See also my post of 21 November last year.

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