Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Jamie George Zammit allegedly fired the bullet that marked the start of Sydney's bikie wars.

Last Friday, the former president of the Penrith chapter of the Nomads outlaw motorcycle gang appeared in court, charged after a police operation. Gang squad commander Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis said: "We have arrested the people who we allege were responsible for firing the firearms used during the drive-bys." Four other alleged bikies have been charged in recent days. The last of these, an alleged Hells Angel associate, Qaseem Khoshal Ibrahim Khell, faced Parramatta Local Court yesterday, charged in relation to an alleged brawl and shooting in July. Mr Khell, who was granted bail, was not involved in any drive-by shooting. The alleged gun attack by Mr Zammit on April 17 was the first of five shootings that night. Later that morning NSW Police established a dedicated strikeforce, with the codename Kinnarra, in response but for months shootings continued. Police will allege that personal rivalries between members of the Nomads and Hells Angels spilled over into a battle between the two gangs. Court documents tendered at Mr Zammit's appearance show he has also been charged with shooting at a Sydney tattoo parlour in March, several weeks before April 17. Strikeforce Kinnarra has now arrested 31 members of the two gangs, most of these after the pursuit and seizure of a car seen driving through Sydney's west the night of a later drive-by shooting. The car had not been set on fire and police were able to refer it for forensic examination. Mr Zammit, who has not yet entered a plea to three charges of shooting at a dwelling and one of participating in a criminal group, has been refused police bail and is currently in Silverwater prison. Mr Khell, whose lawyer Christopher Raheb told the court his client had no involvement with the Hells Angels, has been charged with affray and assault as part of a criminal group. He has not yet entered a plea. Mr Zammit has been replaced as a president of the Nomads and police believe the gang, while weakened, remains dangerous. "It's certainly had an impact on them," Mr Katsogiannis said.

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