Laurel and Hardy

Drug lord described as Sydney’s ‘Tony Soprano’ gunned down in gangland shooting

Alen Moradian, who is considered a key figure in Australia’s cocaine trade, was shot dead as he sat in his car

A man described as Sydney’s Tony Soprano has been gunned down in a gangland shooting in broad daylight.

Alen Moradian, who is considered a key figure in Australia’s cocaine trade, was shot dead as he sat in his car in an underground car park in the city’s eastern suburbs.

Police who rushed to the scene saw the cocaine drug lord lying on the road in a pool of blood.

Following the incident, dozens of police officers and detectives swarmed the area and shut down roads surrounding the crime scene.

Police who are treating the killing as an organised crime hit are hunting two shooters believed to be involved in the murder.

New South Wales police said that while the investigation was still in its infancy, the shooting “bears the hallmarks of an organised crime murder”.

They believe that the drug lord was assassinated due to his “high standing” in the criminal underworld.

“He was a high level identity in the criminal network so he was a high level target for these shooters,” Superintendent Danny Doherty said.

“He obviously had a big target on his back.”

Emergency services were called to Bondi Junction’s Spring Street at about 8.30am last Tuesday after reports that a man sitting in a stationary car had been shot, police said.

Moradian, who has not yet been formally identified by police, was in his late 40s and died at the scene.

According to The Daily Telegraph newspaper, Moradian was part of a secret cartel called the Commission, which controls the drug market in Sydney.

Moradian, who had links to the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle club, was sentenced to at least six years in prison in 2011 for importing and selling a large quantity of cocaine.

He was later released in December 2017 after taking into account the time he had already spent behind bars

It was revealed during his trial that Moradian and his wife, Natasha Youkhana lived a life of luxury on the back of drug money that was used to buy property, designer furniture, jewellery, a wedding reception, luxury travel and accommodation.

In one email Youkhana urged her husband to be more like “Tony Soprano”, the crime boss immortalised in the TV series as she feared their over-the-top lifestyle would get them caught.

“Why do you just sit there and show off – ‘I am the man, I am the man’?” the email, tendered in police facts, read.

“Do you see Tony Soprano doing that? 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 get a big head, you love it. People like that won’t survive.”

Police who are examining CCTV footage from the surrounding area are appealing for people who may have witnessed anything suspicious in the lead up to the shooting on Tuesday morning or afterwards to come forward.

Cops also found a burnt out Porsche on James Street, which is about one kilometre from the crime scene.

Sky News reported that some residents heard “big” explosions as the car was engulfed by flames.

Police suspect that the burning of Porsche might be linked to the shooting.

They are also examining a second burnt-out car – a Holden Commodore – found on Cook Lane in Zetland.

Three crime scenes have been established, which will be examined by specialist police.

A worker at Lumiza Cafe on Spring Street said the street had been shut off to traffic. “I didn’t hear anything, I was serving customers,” she said, adding: “Police are still outside now.”

Police said nobody had been arrested in relation to the shooting.

The premier, Chris Minns, assured the public the “full force of the law” would be used to bring those involved in the shooting to justice.

“This was a very public, violent crime, and we’ve been assured by the NSW police that it will be met with the full force of the law,” he said in parliament on Tuesday.

“There is a major police investigation currently taking place in Sydney’s eastern suburbs and I’ve got no doubt that senior police in great numbers are focusing on this crime as we speak.”

Meanwhile, police have launched a manhunt to locate the assailants, with helicopters being deployed to scan the city.

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