In a significant crackdown on organized crime, Australian authorities, employing 450 officers, conducted raids from last Sunday to Tuesday, targeting the residences of 28 Lebanese nationals in Sydney.
This operation led to the seizure of weapons, drugs, and significant cash amounts, dismantling one of Australia’s largest criminal groups. According to New South Wales Police, 37 arrest warrants were executed for individuals linked to this Lebanese criminal gang.
The group is accused of money laundering, arms, and tobacco trafficking, and dealing over two tons of various drugs, with a street value exceeding one billion dollars. The raids resulted in the confiscation of 25 firearms, 60 communication devices, luxury jewelry, and vehicles, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash.
Lebanese authorities also apprehended Bilal Hoshar, deemed “Australia’s most dangerous man” and among the most wanted by Australian law enforcement. Hoshar, 37, was arrested alongside four associates during a nighttime raid in Beirut. However, his extradition to Australia is complicated due to the lack of a bilateral treaty.
Hoshar had fled to Lebanon in 2018 after being implicated in a murder in Sydney. His brother Nidal, 40, was among those arrested in Sydney, apprehended at the city’s international airport as he was about to leave for Lebanon. Nidal faced a local court the next day on nine charges, including commercial drug supply and involvement in criminal group activities, dealing with proceeds of crime worth over 4.4 million dollars.
The other arrestees, aged between 23 and 46, face 69 charges, ranging from driving offenses to large-scale drug distribution. All have appeared before multiple courts in Sydney, with bail denied.