7news SIDNEY – Nine people have been charged following the bloody execution of crime figure Pasquale Barbaro, after a series of police raids in Sydney. Tuesday's co-ordinated sting unfolded just after midday when heavily armed officers raided more than a dozen properties including four at Sydney's Olympic Park. A total of 13 search warrants were executed and nine men aged from 18–29 were charged. "All those charged with substantive murder were charged in relation to Pasquale Barbaro," Assistant Commissioner Mark Jenkins told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday. Barbaro, 35, was shot dead on an Earlwood footpath two weeks ago. Four of the nine men are facing murder charges and will appear in Sydney courts on Wednesday. NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione launched Strike Force Osprey less than two weeks ago after a spate of bloody executions of notorious crime figures on Sydney's streets.
"There is no end game. We will continue to target these individuals through methodical investigations and disruption strategies. There will be ongoing arrests. We will be protecting the State of NSW. We will be not tolerating any individual who has a total disregard for the community of this state and its laws," Acting Deputy Commissioner Frank Mennilli said on Wednesday. The other five men are facing criminal group charges and have court dates for December and January. Officers from Strike Force Osprey worked with officers from Strike Force Raptor, which was set up in November last year investigating the activities of the Burwood Chapter of the Rebels Outlaw Motorcycle Gang. Both forces were involved in Tuesday's raids. During the raid more than 40 mobile phones, 11 cars, a safe, cash, stolen NSW Police ID was seized and will now be examined by specialist forensic accountants from the Fraud and Cybercrime Squad.
Police from Strike Force Raptor also seized 20 long arms, 23 hand guns, 15 prohibited weapons, including ballistic vests and masks, silencers, a stun gun, and a homemade pipe gun; ammunition, methylamphetamine, and ecstasy, police said on Wednesday. With eight shooting deaths over the past 17 months in Sydney, police have vowed to stamp out gangland warfare. Just weeks before Mafia figure Barbaro was shot in Earlwood as he was getting into his Mercedes on November 14, hitman Hamad Assaad, 29, was shot in Georges Hall on October 25. In April, gangland kingpin and convicted killer Walid Ahmad, 40, was killed in a spray of bullets on the rooftop car park of Bankstown Central shopping centre. His murder is believed to be in retaliation for the fatal shooting of Safwan Charbaji outside a Condell Park panel beater several weeks earlier. The month before that Michael Davey was shot dead in a driveway in a drive-by shooting in Kingswood. Believed to be a member of the Rebels motorcycle gang, Davey had escaped injury during a shooting at a shopping centre the previous year.