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Operation Santiago Unveiled to Combat Melbourne Gang Violence

Great just what Melbourne needs more gang warfare:

SEVEN men have been killed in suspected drug-linked executions in Victoria in 10 months – in a new outbreak of underworld mayhem.

And police are so alarmed by the flow of firearms into the city and a spate of non-fatal shootings they are planning targeted roadblocks to catch gun-carrying gang members.

Operation Santiago, a new taskforce devoted to the shooting war between alleged family based amphetamine syndicates, is also being bolstered.

A Sunday Herald Sun investigation into the new-look crime landscape can reveal:

THE Purana taskforce, having investigated Carl Williams’ killings, is probing current crime kingpins.

CHIEF Commissioner Christine Nixon believes 21st century organised crime will be the greatest challenge for her successor at the helm of Victoria Police.

SENIOR police have been concerned by escalating shoot-outs between ethnic gangsters in the northern suburbs and are amazed no one has been killed in the crossfire.

Most of the seven suburban slayings, which occurred between February and last month, have been discovered in or near metropolitan parks and reserves.

Two were parkland “slash and burns” – suspected of being related to drug deals.

A third victim is believed to have had his throat cut in a Noble Park reserve before being rolled into a nearby creek.

Three others were shot dead and the seventh was bashed to death and dumped in a field.

All except two of the victims were aged under 35, all the killings had drug or criminal links and no one has been charged over three of the cases.

It is a comparative kill rate to the height of the Carlton crew-Williams crew gangland war where in 2003 when eight underworld-linked figures were executed. [Herald-Sun]

Make sure to read the rest of the article that provides more detail of this underworld violence and what the police plan to do to stop it.

This recent violence is similar to the violence that plagued the city when I first moved to the Melbourne area.  That was when the Carlton crew led by Carl Williams stoked an underworld criminal war that led to the deaths of many people.  The controversial made for TV program, Underbelly dramatizes these gangland events and just recently won an AFI award.

I guess it was only a matter of time before someone tried to step and fill the criminal vacuum left after a number of these criminal figures were either killed or put into jail.