Police say ‘The Last Hour’ finished as final three members arrested

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Emma Partridge
The gang members have been linked to some of Sydney’s most heinous crimes.
Police say they have finally smashed a violent Assyrian gang responsible for terrorising a western Sydney community for the past two decades.

The final three members of DLASTHR or “The Last Hour” were arrested during a series of dawn raids across south-western Sydney on Thursday.

A Edensor Park man, 26; a Middleton Grange man, 21; and a Prairiewood man, 23, remain in custody after police seized $20,000 worth of cannabis.

Members, who typically ink their backs with a tattoo of a clenched fist and the letters DLASTHR, have been linked to some of Sydney’s most heinous crimes including murder, extortions, armed robberies and many drive-by shootings. Much of the crime has occurred in and around Fairfield.

In September last year, a big chunk of the group had been dismantled during a series of raids involving 340 police.

More than a dozen members were arrested and charged.

The gang is an offshoot of the Assyrian Kings or the Spencer Street Group, which was involved in the stabbing and bashing murder of off-duty police officer David Carty in 1997.

Constable Carty’s nose and ear were almost severed and he was partly scalped in the car park of a Fairfield hotel, just blocks from a police station.

The gang became less prominent after its leader Raymon Youmaran was jailed in 2006, but has been linked to more than a dozen public shootings in the past two years.

Only a few weeks ago, homicide detectives said they believed one of the group’s founding members and Australian fugitives, Raphael Joseph, had been murdered.

Mr Joseph, who has previously gone by the name of Rafi Tooma, and is known as “Huss” or “Hussany” to his family and friends, is believed to have been kidnapped and possibly murdered after he got into the back seat of a late-model silver sedan on Dartbrook Road, Auburn, near the local McDonald’s about midnight on March 21.

In 2008, Mr Joseph made a desperate, last ditch plea to then US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice not to be extradited back to NSW to face a murder charge.

The underworld figure unsuccessfully argued that if sent back to NSW, he would be “tortured or killed”.

Six years later, NSW police fear he might have now met that fate.

Fairfield Superintendent Peter Lennon said detectives attached to strike force Evesson had arrested 19 members of the The Last Hour gang during a two-year operation.

Strike Force Evesson was set up to investigate drug supply, extortion, assaults and several public place shootings in Sydney over the past two years.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/police-say-the-last-hour-finished-as-final-three-members-arrested-20140508-zr6wg.html#ixzz31FUEbxFG