NSW Police say crime syndicate targeted in Taskforce Erebus raids in Sydney

Pictures have emerged from dawn raids police said ‘smashed’ an alleged drug operation believed to be associated with the Alameddine family.

NSW Police say they’ve “smashed” an alleged drug operation believed to be associated with the Alameddine family during a coordinated set of raids throughout Sydney on Tuesday.

Eighteen men, aged between 19 and 39, were arrested in the dawn raids associated with the anti-gang taskforce Erebus.

About 450 cops executed 29 search warrants across the city from 6am and will be laying “significant charges” against a number of people, the officials said.

The charges will include possession of firearms and large commercial supply of drugs.

“We believe we’ve had a significant impact on the Alameddine organized crime network,” NSW Police assistant commissioner Michael Fitzgerald said.

“The drug distribution of that has been dismantled today.”

Police commissioner Karen Webb said the raids had the effect of “cutting the head off the snake” of the alleged crime network.

“Today we’ve smashed an organized criminal network, I’m confident that we’ve cut off the head of the snake,” she said.

“The entire syndicate has been arrested, including high ranking members.”

Police said they will allege some of the people arrested were operating “dial-a-dealer” phones that were generating more than $250,000 per week in drug sales.

Investigators believe conflicts for control of the lucrative phones may have led to several killings in the past few years.

“These phones are so profitable,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

“We’ll be alleging in the near future that these phones have been the subject of competition, people were trying to steal them and take control of them, so as a result, we believe that these phones have been directly connected to a number of murders.”

Police said people would contact the phones to ask for drugs, and that those people were allegedly offered a “smorgasbord of drugs”, including cocaine, prescription pills, MDMA and cannabis.

The raids in suburbs including Guildford, Merrylands, Chester Hill, South Granville, Casula, Yagoona and Wentworthville, followed a 10-month investigation.

Police said they seized more than $250,000 in cash, illegal weapons and drugs, vehicles and jewelry.

Inquiries continue.

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