Thursday, March 20, 2014

Haddara clan no strangers to visits from police

The Haddara clan are familiar with a dawn visit from armed members of the Santiago taskforce, which was established in 2008 following a spate of shootings linked to rival Middle Eastern families including the Chaouks, Tibas and Kassabs.

Over the past five years, Santiago officers have investigated about 20 shootings linked to the Haddara family and a string of organised crime offences, including extortion, kidnapping and the manufacturing and trafficking of methamphetamines. An early morning raid in 2012 even uncovered a live crocodile at the Essendon home of Rabieh Haddara, along with drugs, cash and firearms.

Last year, Waleed Haddara was sentenced to more than eight years over the accidental shooting of his cousin Sabet "Sam" Haddara, who was mistaken for a member of the Chaouk clan, when blasted in the face in 2011.

Six months earlier, Matwali Chaouk had fired shots at Sam Haddara from his car, and was found guilty last year of recklessly endangering life. Matwali Chaouk is the son of family patriarch, Macchour Chaouk, who was gunned down in the backyard of his Brooklyn home in August 2010.

The grieving Chaouks immediately blamed their bitter rivals, but the brutal killing remains unsolved.

The escalation of violence between the Lebanese families, who were once on friendly terms, can be traced back to the 2009 murder of Mohammed Haddara, who was shot in Fifth Avenue, Altona North.

A cousin of the Chaouks, Ahmed Hablas, was charged with Mohammed Haddara's murder, but was acquitted on the grounds of self-defence.

Within months of Mohammed Haddara's murder, an associate's car was peppered with machine-gun fire outside an Altona North McDonald's restaurant. A string of non-fatal shootings have continued, but victims have been unwilling to assist police and identify their assailants. 18 Mar 2014

The Australian authorities 'supporting' criminal ethnic gangs, in the process importing more from various countries.

The agenda can seem to be of a similar policy to that of 200 years ago.

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