SOUTHPAW SHOOTER

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - AVA BENNY- MOR­RI­SON CRIME RE­PORTER

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.

Joshua Baines.

Pasquale Bar­baro (cen­tre) was shot dead in Earl­wood in Novem­ber 2016. Pic­ture: In­sta­gram

Joshua 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 a

sil­ver Holden Com­modore in the street where Mehmet Yil­maz was gunned down

on Septem­ber 9, 2016.

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