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Thursday, 17 April 2008

Melbourne crime family two shootings and the fire-bombing of a house have been linked to the conflict involving the family

In the past two weeks, two shootings and the fire-bombing of a house have been linked to the conflict involving the family.The probe centres on a notorious Melbourne crime family which has been linked to shootings, drug trafficking, bribery, abductions and bashings. There have been claims the family wants to move into the gap left by the dismantling of Tony Mokbel's drug empire. In an email to senior police -- including Assistant Commissioner Simon Overland -- Det-Sgt Paul Lunt of Broadmeadows withdrew from the investigation and threatened to resign over "the total incompetence of those charged with the responsibility of the management of investigations of major crime in this state".
"I can no longer stand by whilst the departmentally sanctioned spin doctors sugar coat what is a very serious gang war in the making and letting a very dangerous family run amok without proper co-ordinated attention," he wrote.
Det-Sgt Lunt wrote that local police had asked for help from the Australian Crime Commission and the Purana Taskforce in the investigation's early stages and had not received a reply. He said the Victoria Police armed crime taskforce had become involved recently. "None of you have obviously learned lessons from what come (sic) out of Purana," he wrote. "The only difference here is that no one has died. And that is only good luck, not good management. "But you're all more worried about your petty squabbles over staff ownership and whether you may get criticised in the media." Two men have been shot in Gladstone Park in the past two weeks in conflict linked to the family. Two men have been arrested by officers investigating one of the shootings, in which a man was shot in the legs.
On Monday, a man and woman were forced to climb down piping from the upper story of a Coolaroo house after it was shot at and firebombed The family, which is at the centre of a taskforce dubbed Lased, is known to deal large amounts of amphetamine. In the past three years, there have been shootings, armed road rage incidents, kidnappings, bashings and armed robberies which police suspect were the family's work. They have allegedly boasted to police about having superior firearms. Senior police last night defended their record, saying Operation Lased had achieved some outstanding results and heavily disrupted criminal activity in the area. Supt Richard Grant, who was one of the officers who received the email, said there had been three significant arrests in the past week bringing the total arrest tally to about 20 in the past six months. "Victoria Police respects the right of its members to express their opinions and concerns to their managers and members of senior command. However, it is confident that it is effectively managing the ongoing investigation known as Operation Lased. "A number of key arrests and firearms and drug seizures is evidence that this highly targeted approach is having a major impact." Supt Grant said Victoria Police believed enough resources had been committed to the operation so far but, if necessary, more resources would be provided in the future. Police Association secretary Sen-Sgt Paul Mullett said Det-Sgt Lunt's attack was proof the force's major crime management model had been an "abject failure". Sen-Sgt Mullett said the situation sounded like an episode of Yes Minister. "This is another example of our members crying for help. The member is right. Victoria Police is being more run by spin-doctoring and propaganda these days," he said. Sen-Sgt Mullett said Det-Sgt Lunt was a dedicated policeman who, he hoped, would not be made to pay for his comments.


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