Arrests Made Across Australia Amidst Probe of Pasquale Barbaro Murder

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  • Arrests as part of massive raid with charges including murder
  • Pasquale Barbaro gunned down outside his car two weeks ago
  • Family had long ties to Italian organized crime faction

Law enforcement announced the arrests of nine individuals in Sydney gangland raids conducted by police searching for the killer of slain underworld figure Pasquale Barbaro.

Barbaro, whose family reportedly has ties to one of Australia’s top crime syndicates, was shot execution style as he attempted to flee from his car in Sydney two weeks ago.  A year previous the 35-year-old had survived another attempt on his life.  Two hooded gunmen were witnessed running from the scene during those late night hours while a burning Audi believed to be tied to the crime was found nearby. 

Barbaro was the fourth underworld figure to be killed this year.

The coordinated raids took place shortly after midday Tuesday at the Olympic Park precinct. The individuals were booked on crimes ranging from murder to drug and arms possession.  It was not immediately known if any of those in custody are alleged to have direct ties to the Barbaro murder.

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"We heard what we though was a fight and were a little noisy and obviously came out and then when we came out there was the SWAT team they had all the guns and all the police were running around," witness Lara Giltinan told Nine News.

The Barbaro ‘ndrina is listed among Australia’s designated crime families with ties to Calabria and Milan, Italy.  The clan’s long-time boss, Francesco Barbaro "'u Castanu" was known as the king of kidnapping in the 1980s.

In August 2008, Australian 'Ndrangheta boss and Pasquale’s cousin with the same name, Pasquale (Pat) Barbaro, was involved in the importation of 15 million ecstasy pills through Melbourne, at the time the world's largest ecstasy haul.  He would later be sentenced to life.

Pasquale’s uncle and grandfather were also slain in previous years.  The younger Barbaro also survived an assassination attempt one year ago.

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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