Marie Hogg and Taylor AuerbachInner
October 16, 2015
Just after 3pm two unmarked police vehicles swerved in front of a silver hatchback and at least six officers in tactical operations gear swarmed on the car.
The P-plate driver and his girlfriend were removed from the vehicle and searched by the heavily armed officers.
Newtown local Craig Warren witnessed the raid as it unfolded.
“The police came out of nowhere,” he said.
“They surrounded a car and dragged the driver out of the car and held a rifle to him.
“Two more men were also removed from the car and a woman wearing a burka. They put them on the ground and cuffed them.”
He said the three occupants were taken away for questioning. Their car was towed minutes later.
According to eyewitnesses the operation was swift and the driver was arrested.
“It literally looked out of a movie,” local shop assistant Kate O’Rourke said.
Her colleague said the man complained of heart problems and as a result the paramedics were called.
“They pinned him to the ground and then against the wall outside. He didn’t put up a fight,” Alicia Rose said.
Ms O’Rourke said the man shouted “Don’t touch my girlfriend! Leave her out of this!” as he was pinned to the ground.
NSW Police confirmed the Middle Eastern Crime Squad conducted the raid as part of an ongoing police investigation into extortion.
According to a police spokesman the investigation has also triggered raids across south-west Sydney, with more underway in Bankstown, Greenacre, Punchbowl and Condell Park.
Officers made inquiries on Tennyson Rd, Greenacre, and a raid occurred on Rosemont St, Punchbowl.
It is understood the second arrest happened at Hume Highway, Yagoona.
The operation was not related to counter terrorism or the Parramatta shooting incident two weeks ago.