Dawn arrests net drugs, cash and weapons
Hells Angels Sydney chapter president Felix Lyle is one of the biggest-names arrested in Tuesday morning's dawn raids targeting bikies, organised crime figures and their drug and firearm networks.
A senior police source said Mr Lyle has been arrested for drug supply charges after warrants were executed on Tuesday morning.
The Hells Angels Chinatown headquarters were also raided.
Arrested ... an officer with a suspect. Photo: Police media
Mr Lyle pleaded guilty to attempted fraud worth $2.1 million in October last year and was to face sentencing later this month.
Drugs, firearms, explosives, a hand grenade and $500,000 in counterfeit cash was seized as police executed 30 search warrants in properties across NSW that are linked to the Hells Angels, Rebels and Comanchero bikie clubs.
A sophisticated police investigation culminated in the arrests of 18 senior bikies and organised crime figures in a series of dawn raids across NSW.
Seized ... some of the weapons found. Photo: Police media
Organised crime had taken a "tremendous hit" as a result of the two-year operation, which relied on more than half a million secretly recorded phone calls, police said.
The raids, involving 350 officers, were linked to a drug bust of 400 kilograms of ice three weeks ago.
Senior police said that the operation, code-named Alistair, heralded a new era of inter-agency co-operation that would bring more arrests.
In custody ... the pre-dawn police raids took targets by surprise. Photo: Police media
Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said the "long and drawn-out operation" was ongoing and more arrests would follow.
The Organised Crime Squad Commander, Detective Chief Superintendent Mick Plotecki, said a number of international links were identified, including Balkan and Asian syndicates.
"More than 350 police across the state executed 30 warrants today," he said, adding that the arrests had been executed across south-west Sydney, the northern metro area, the CBD and the south coast.
"This type of work is not about putting large amounts of drugs on the table – this is about destroying those relationships and the people that make up the [organised crime] networks."
Chief Superintendent Plotecki said police "had very good reason to close the operation today" but would not elaborate further on whether an imminent threat had been detected.
Some of the items seized in the raids gave insight into the brazenness of the groups involved. "I am disturbed by some of the stuff we've taken because of the sheer audacity of these people,'' he said.
Mr Scipione praised the work of Strike Force Alistair, and said those arrested were among some of the biggest targets in organised crime - and that police had not yet finished with them.
"You will be surprised by the names that will come out, there are some very very senior members of organised crime gangs, and that will roll out over the course of today,'' he said.
''You will be surprised by some of the allegations, because these allegations are extraordinarily serious when it comes to firearms, when it comes to drugs.
Mr Scipione sent a strong warning to criminals: "In terms of organised crime, NSW Police and the Crime Commission have you people firmly in our sights. We're not going away. We'll continue to pursue you, those that support you, those that supply you with drugs. We will come after you. The team today has shown you what we can do ... there will be another operation.''
Police Minister Michael Gallacher said: "Today's result confirms that, together, the NSW Police and the Crime Commission are delivering exceptional results."