Sydney gangs using fake regos for crimes

·2-min read

Sydney's organised crime gangs are using the identities of innocent people to register stolen cars before using them to carry out heinous crimes, including murder.

Police investigating the killing of gangland figure Bilal Hamze and a plot to kill his brother Ibrahem Hamze last year now believe underworld figures are fraudulently registering cars to oblivious drivers, to carry out their crimes.

"We believe that the organised criminal network and these groups are shifting their MO (modus operandi) and their tactics and their strategies," Homicide Squad commander Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty told reporters on Thursday.

"They're using a deceptive criminal enterprise to obtain vehicles, and then facilitate murders."

Police have released four minutes of CCTV showing cars loitering near a North Sydney apartment block between July 25 and August 14 last year, before the failed attempt on the life of Ibrahem Hamze.

Bilal Hamze was shot in Sydney's CBD by a man in a black Audi in June last year. The car was later found burned-out at Northwood, on Sydney's North Shore.

A Mercedes also believed to have been used in the murder and a second grey Mercedes station wagon and a white Honda Odyssey have also been recovered.

Police are still searching for a silver Ford Territory they believe is linked with the killing, after the vehicle was seen at the North Sydney apartment block with the Honda and Mercedes last year.

A year ago detectives from the State Crime Command's Criminal Groups Squad charged two men - aged 31 and 19 - over their alleged roles in a conspiracy to kill Ibrahem Hamze. The men remain before the courts.

Police established the Mercedes involved in the alleged murder attempt at North Sydney had travelled on occasion with the Audi used in the shooting murder of Bilal Hamze, in the weeks leading up to his death.

Those two vehicles - as well as a second grey Mercedes station wagon and a white Honda Odyssey - have since been recovered and forensically examined.

A fifth vehicle - a silver Ford Territory with registration AQ 58 ES - remains outstanding.

The Ford was captured on CCTV on multiple occasions with the Honda and Mercedes at an apartment block in Sydney's north last year.

Mr Doherty said the Ford and the Honda were bought legitimately using cash via online sites, before people unknowingly had their identities stolen and used to register the vehicles.

Anyone sent information from the Roads and Maritime Services about vehicles they do not own has been urged to contact police.

Mr Doherty said the fact that the vehicles are linked to the Audi used to murder Bilal Hamze is significant.

"On each occasion, we believe the people inside these cars intended to murder their target, who was residing in that building at the time," he said.

"We believe by releasing these images ... for the public, there might be some information that may come to hand."