The inside story of Sydney’s alleged left-handed killer
HE was the southpaw killer. Whoever pulled the trigger in one of Sydney’s most cold-blooded and calculated murders used his left hand to do it.
It is that crucial piece of evidence that police hope will help bring down alleged gang boss Abuzar “Abs” Sultani, a breakaway bikie who officers claim ran one of the most sophisticated crime operations in the state.
Sultani, 28, a university business studies student, allegedly heads a crime syndicate that stockpiled dozens of weapons, had more than 30 vehicles at its disposal and sold massive amounts of drugs.
He is also accused of two gangland murders.
Already on remand for shooting dead Pasquale Barbaro in Earlwood, in Sydney’s south, in November, Sultani was this week charged with murdering bikie associate Mehmet Yilmaz.
Along with associates Joshua Baines, 25, and Adam McNamara, 31, police claim Sultani shot Yilmaz in front of his fiancee at St Marys, in Sydney’s west in 2016.
A crucial aspect of the police case is that the killer was identified as being left-handed.
After a sweeping and complex crime investigation involving months of intense police surveillance, court documents reveal how Sultani was pinned as a left-hander.
A police statement of facts tendered in court said: “Upon extensive review of surveillance material, Sultani was identified as being lefthanded.”
Police claim Sultani ran the crime operation like a business, demanding complete loyalty from the gang.
He would assign members different duties, ranging from the criminal to organising logistic support within the confines of the law.
Yilmaz, a 29-year-old father-ofone, was targeted after clocking up a $20,000 debt for methamphetamine that he was meant to sell.
His first warning allegedly came when he was kidnapped in July last year by former Lone Wolf bikie Erkan Keskin, who has been charged over the incident.
Despite being reminded of his debt at two subsequent meetings, the money remained unpaid.
Yilmaz was killed on September 9 last year in a quiet suburban street.
According to police, Yilmaz drove to the home of Comanchero bikie
gang member Hayan Chandab with his fiancee, telling her to stay in the car and lock the doors.
Nine minutes later a silver Holden Commodore made two laps of the street, creeping past Yilmaz’s car before stopping several metres away. Police claim accused gunman Sultani was in that car.
After half an hour inside Chandab’s home, Yilmaz emerged and walked towards his car.
In a chilling account of Yilmaz’s final moments, police say he was standing at the car, waiting for his fiancee to unlock the doors, when he was caught in the headlights of Sultani’s car.
Driving up next to Yilmaz, Sultani allegedly stuck a 9mm semiautomatic handgun out of the window with his left hand and opened fire.
He then got out of the car, pointing the gun at Yilmaz’s fiancee, before turning and firing two more shots into Yilmaz’s head.
The underground carpark at real estate agent Aram Makinadjian’s apartment block in Ryde was then used to store the getaway vehicle, which had been fitted with Victorian numberplates stolen two weeks before, police claim. Makinadjian, 28, has been charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder and was granted bail on Friday.
Ljupka Subeska, the lawyer acting for Joshua Baines, said the “charges would most certainly be defended”.
The killing pro- vides an insight into a sophisticated group that allegedly played a part in its own downfall as police watched every move.
Court documents tendered in the case of Siaosi Mokofisi, another group member, claim Sultani cut his teeth in the Rebels bikie gang before going alone. He allegedly took members of the gang’s Burwood chapter with him.
The 31 vehicles the group had at its disposal were driven at different times and by various people in no traceable pattern. Cars that were not stolen were registered in company names, sometimes linked to a group member, and stored away from view.
Sultani is accused of operating a sophisticated network of companies, many involved with the construction industry, to move the group’s allegedly ill-gotten gains and launder money.
After the gang emerged on the radar of multiple crime squads, police gained an internal foothold in August 2016, court documents show.
In an undercover operation, police sold Sultani an encrypted BlackBerry for $2400. It was on this device Sultani allegedly organised the sale of drugs on various occasions last year, including 2kg of methamphetamine and MDMA, as well as an SKS assault rifle.
Abuzar Sultani, seen here being arrested over the death of Pasquale Barbaro, has now been charged with the murder of Mehmet Yilmaz.
Pasquale Barbaro (centre) was shot dead in Earlwood in November 2016. Picture: InstagramJoshua Baines is detained by police at Olympic Park in November 2016.Police remove evidence from a unit at Olympic Park after Sultani’s arrest. Picture: Craig Wilson A police CCTV image shows asilver Holden Commodore in the street where Mehmet Yilmaz was gunned downon September 9, 2016.