About 30 people are expected to be charged after hundreds of police conducted dawn raids throughout north and south west Sydney as part of a long standing investigation into organised crime.
Raids in the north west region were in South Wentworthville, Baulkham Hills and Greystanes.
The other suburbs where police raided bikie homes were: Wetherill Park, Smithfield, Fairfield West, Kemps Creek, Bankstown, Padstow, Chester Hill, Cabramatta West, Sadlier, Abbotsbury, and then North Sydney, Sydney City, Bellfield, Rozelle, Matraville and Kingsgrove.
It's believed police have destroyed whole syndicates of outlaw motorcycle gangs after undercover officers infiltrated them.
Three men, including a 33-year-old Greystanes man, a 25-year-old Wentworthville man and a 35-year-old Chester Hill man, were charged with offences relating to the commercial supply of prohibited drugs.
They will appear in Fairfield Local Court or Bankstown Local Court today.
A total of 19 people were arrested after today's raids.
Watch a video of the arrest, supplied by Police Media, below:
Drugs, firearms, explosives, a hand grenade and $500,000 in counterfeit cash was seized from a number of the properties, which police believe are linked to the Hells Angels, Rebels and Comanchero bikie clubs.
The searches were part of a long-running investigation into the supply of firearms and drugs to criminal groups.
Shortly after 6am, hundreds of police raided at least four properties, in the Sydney central business district and in the western suburbs, linked to the Hells Angels and Comanchero bikie gangs.
Police said 18 people have been arrested so far, including a number of high-ranking members of outlaw motorcycle gangs.
They said prior to today, Tuesday, March 12, investigators had seized illicit drugs with a potential street value of $6 million, numerous pistols and rifles, a machine gun, a hand grenade, explosives, and more than half a million dollars in counterfeit cash.
The raids, involving 350 officers, were linked to a drug bust of 400 kilograms of ice three weeks ago.
Police said Strike Force Alistair has been investigating the supply of guns, drugs and explosives to organised crime groups, with some of those items allegedly destined for outlaw motorcycle gangs.
Officers said today’s operation is ongoing, but police anticipate laying charges for commercial drug supply, drug importation, firearms supply and participating in a criminal group.
Organised crime had taken a "tremendous hit" as a result of the two-year operation, which relied on more than half a million secretly recorded phone calls, police said.
The Organised Crime Squad Commander, Detective Chief Superintendent Mick Plotecki, said a number of international links were identified, including Balkan and Asian syndicates.
"More than 350 police across the state executed 30 warrants today," he said, adding that the arrests had been executed across south-west Sydney, the northern metro area, the CBD and the south coast.
"This type of work is not about putting large amounts of drugs on the table – this is about destroying those relationships and the people that make up the [organised crime] networks."
Chief Superintendent Plotecki said police "had very good reason to close the operation today" but would not elaborate further on whether an imminent threat had been detected.
Police Minister Michael Gallacher said: "today's result confirms that, together, the NSW Police and the Crime Commission are delivering exceptional results."
Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Michael Gallacher, said: “this is only the beginning of a newly enhanced and stronger partnership between the NSW Police Force and the NSW Crime Commission in targeting organised crime".
“The NSW Government applauds the efforts of everyone involved in this operation which has been relentless in smashing these criminal networks.”
NSW Police Force Commissioner, Andrew Scipione, praised all officers involved in Strike Force Alistair for shutting down a number of firearm and drug supply chains in NSW.
“Today’s arrest phase is the culmination of many months of exhaustive investigations which had already taken more than 10 firearms and illicit drugs, worth millions of dollars, off the streets,” Commissioner Scipione said.
“A number of significant illegal supply chains have now been severed, which will reduce the availability of guns and drugs to those organised criminal groups.”
He said today’s exceptional results could not have been achieved without the commitment, expertise and dedication displayed by all of the officers involved.
“Strike Force Alistair demonstrates what can be done when we work together to combat organised crime and outlaw motorcycle gangs,” Commissioner Scipione said.
“Police will continue to use every available resource, including the seizure of assets alleged to be the proceeds of crime, to target these groups. They will be arrested, their assets will be confiscated and their relationships with other criminal entities will be compromised.”
NSW Crime Commission Assistant Commissioner Bob Inkster said: “the NSW Crime Commission will continue to work closely with our partner agencies, particularly the NSW Police Force, to disrupt and dismantle organised crime networks in this State".
“Today’s results are a clear example of achieving that goal through long-term, dedicated investigative commitment.”
Strike Force Alistair is ongoing.
The strike force was established by the NSW Organised Crime Squad and the NSW Crime Commission in July 2011, with assistance also provided by the Gangs Squad.
Anyone with information that may assist investigators should call Crime Stoppers, 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://www1.police.nsw.gov.au/.