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Super-taskforce to pursue deadly gang


Source: The Daily Telegraph

SENIOR police were last night negotiating a merger of up to five major homicide investigations after linking the suspects in each matter to a single Middle Eastern crime group.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal high-level talks were held over several hours at police headquarters yesterday over whether to convene a special taskforce for the unsolved cases.

The move would be considered a major investigative decision and mirrors the establishment of the well-known Purana taskforce, which investigated Victoria's "Underbelly" gangland killings during the 2000s.

Senior police last night declined to comment about the meeting. But they believe members of a single group are responsible for the slayings, which began with the double murders of Roy Yaghi, 33, and Jamie Grover, 37, at South Wentworthville in August.

It has believed the same people may also have been involved in four other shooting incidents, including:


* THE shooting death of Comanchero Faalau Pisu, 23, at Canley Vale on November 5;

* THE attempted murder of Comanchero John Devine at Rhodes on November 7;

* THE murder of Ali Hachem Eid, 38, and the wounding of his friend, Mohammed Hannouf, 34, at Punchbowl on November 27; and

* THE execution of Mr Eid's relative Bachir Arja at Punchbowl in December.

The identity of the people under examination cannot be identified for legal reasons, however their home was raided last year as part of inquiries.

The decision to hold yesterday's talks came after detectives from each of the five investigations concluded they were all chasing the same "crossover targets".

Detectives investigating the double murder of Mr Yaghi and Mr Grover believe their deaths were the result of a contract killing.

While Mr Grover was an innocent bystander in the matter, Mr Yaghi was suspected by police to be working as a drug cook for the Hells Angels outlaw bikie gang.

It is believed the contract was ordered by a rival group.

Links between that case and the death of Comanchero bikie Faalau Pisu, 23, at a wedding on November 5, were also identified. This was followed by further links to a retaliation shooting on Comanchero bikie John Devine - a cousin to the bikie gang's leader - who miraculously survived five bullets to his body. The shootings stopped until November 27 when Mr Eid, a tiler, and electrician Mohammed Hannouf were gunned down as they renovated a property on Lumeah Ave, Punchbowl.

Mr Eid died but Mr Hannouf survived - he has since left the country, The Daily Telegraph has established.

The attack was attributed to a pseudoephedrine import that ran into problems during the distribution phase.

To fix the drama, Mr Eid sought the help of his relative, Mr Arja. On December 18, Mr Arja died when he was shot eight times outside his mother's house.


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