NSW Police launched a two-day high visibility operation dubbed ‘Operation Hawk 2022’ targeting organised crime networks across Sydney.
The operation comes after an 18-month-long back-and-forth gangland war between the Alameddine and Hamze crime families that involved assassinations, shootings and kidnappings.
It has been reported that the “Comancheros” outlaw motorcycle gang is also involved.
The operation began at 6am on the 27th of January 2022 with more than 600 officers deployed daily. The intelligence-led operation is a collaboration between State Crime Command and the Central, North West and South West Metropolitan Regions.
Operation Hawk 2022 is part of a greater ongoing investigation under Strike Force Hawk which aims at disrupting organised criminal activity. It is an intricate and multi-faceted operation including Firearm Prohibition Order searches, bail and ADVO compliance checks, high-visibility patrols of hot spots and venues of interest, targeted compliance checks at high-risk businesses, and road safety enforcement.
The operation will include expert assistance from the Public Order and Riot Squad, the Dog and Mounted Unit, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, Police Transport and Public Safety Command, and the Aviation Command.
As a result of Strike Force Hawk, since October 2021, over 200 search warrants and Firearms Prohibition Orders (66 to be exact) have been actioned, and around 350 charges have been laid.
During the two-day operation, police charged 115 people (with almost 300 offences), seized more than $100,000 in cash, 18 illegal firearms, 672 rounds of ammunition, and volumes of illegal drugs (including prohibited drugs including methylamphetamine, MDMA, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and cannabis) with an estimated street value of $1.2 million. Add to that 30 stolen cars. Police also executed 450 bail compliance checks and almost 200 business inspections.
In addition, a number of Casino Exclusion Orders were served to those who were suspected of using gaming venues as a means to launder illicit funds.
Police have also arrested and extradited senior members of the gangs involved.
Moreover, Assistant Commissioner Smith confirmed that the police were also able to uncover significant evidence that would provide more insight into the organised criminals’ activities and future plans. By seizing mobile phones and conducting over 500 searches on them (including within encrypted apps), police were also able to discover details relating to illegal business activities.
State Crime Commander, Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith, stated the operation is the next phase of dismantling networks, which follows successful disruptions to the activities of these criminals.
Operation Hawk 2022 concluded on Saturday around 2am, 29 January 2022, and information, including results and highlights compiled by NSW Police is available here.
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