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The assassination of Sydney crime figure Alen Moradian has sparked fears of reprisals as police hunt the two gunmen who ambushed him in a Bondi Junction car park, while a gun recovered from a torched luxury car is believed to be key to solving the daylight murder.
Detectives also have the task of unpicking which underworld group, or individuals, had fallen out with Moradian to the point they felt he should be killed.
A gun believed to be linked to the daylight execution of Alen Moradian has been found inside a partially burnt-out Porsche.Credit: Kate Geraghty
NSW Police were called to the basement car park of Moradian’s Spring Street unit block just after 8am on Tuesday, when gunshots rang out.
They found Moradian, a one-time cocaine kingpin, shot and beyond saving in his car.
Police believe the two assassins dumped a grey Porsche Macan down a quiet street just a few minutes’ drive away.
The killers tried and failed to burn the luxury car as they fled, managing only to blacken the windows and partially melt the interior. Forensic officers found the gun inside on Tuesday afternoon.
The weapon is likely to be one of the most valuable clues to the identities of Moradian’s killers. A second car linked to the murder, a Holden Commodore, was engulfed in flames in Zetland.
The execution of Moradian, who has yet to be formally identified, carries all the hallmarks of an organised crime murder, Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty said.
“He’s a high-level criminal identity … he’s a major player in the organised crime network and also has links to the Comanchero OMCG [outlaw motorcycle gang], high level,” he said.
Alen Moradian is believed to have been shot dead in Bondi Junction.Credit: News Corp
“He obviously had a big target on his back … This is a well-planned, executed murder with a high-level criminal identity.”
Moradian, police sources say, was cautious about attacks in the lead-up to his death. Just days ago the former drug lord registered a precious gem business, but listed his wife’s Blue Mountains home on the documents.
Heavily armed anti-gang police spent Tuesday trying to hose down chances of retaliation for Moradian’s killing.
Moradian has underworld links beyond the Comancheros – police sources not authorised to speak publicly confirmed he maintained relationships with multiple syndicates centred around the drug trade.
“We’re working tirelessly with local police but also … we have Raptor squad and Operation Talon police doing proactive suppression tactics as we speak,” Doherty said.
Homicide and gang squad detectives picked through Moradian’s apartment throughout Tuesday. Forensic officers wore the white jumpsuits often reserved for particularly violent crime scenes.
“This is Tuesday morning in Bondi Junction, we don’t expect this to happen, we don’t expect it to happen anywhere,” Doherty said, assuring the public Moradian had been targeted.
Known as Fathead, Moradian was one of the seven main players involved in the Golden Gun syndicate, one of the biggest drug groups broken by the NSW Police Force. Members were sentenced to between five and 30 years in prison.
The crime figure was sentenced to 16 years and nine months in jail for importing and supplying cocaine. He reportedly became eligible for release in 2017.
Moradian’s wife, Natasha Youkhana, once urged him to behave more like television’s New Jersey mafia boss Tony Soprano.
“Why do you just sit there and show off – ‘I am the man, I am the man.’ Do you see Tony Soprano doing that?” she wrote in an email, tendered to court after the couple were arrested in July 2007.
“He doesn’t care who people think is the boss, [money] is his number one priority. You, on the other hand, want the attention, you want the big head, you love it. People like that won’t survive.”
Moradian was known for his love of the brand Versace and was said to have once spent more than $1 million on the company’s furniture and homewares in cash.
The crime boss transformed what was called the Moradian McMansion in West Pennant Hills into a palazzo, with the lounge room converted into a version of the Sistine Chapel, including a $40,000 ceiling mural showing sky and angels.
After the shooting, Spring Street was cordoned off with police tape and cars. Police began letter-dropping late on Tuesday asking for anyone to come forward with information.
“Police are seeking assistance from the public for further information or CCTV footage to assist in the investigation,” the letter read.
with Nick Ralston
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