Homicide Squad detectives appeal after linking vehicles used in alleged murder attempt in Sydney's north and CBD murder

Thursday, 09 December 2021 04:44:35 AM

Homicide Squad detectives have released CCTV as they appeal for public assistance to identify the movements of two vehicles used in the lead-up to the CBD murder of 34-year-old Bilal Hamze, and an alleged murder attempt of another man in Sydney’s north earlier this year.

Just before 10.30pm on Thursday 17 June 2021, emergency services were called to the intersection of Bridge and Pitt Streets, Sydney, following reports a man had been shot by an unknown person in a black Audi.

The man – who has since been identified as 34-year-old, Bilal Hamze – was treated at the scene before being taken to St Vincent’s Hospital, where he later died.

A short time later, police located a burnt-out Audi at Fleming Street, Northwood, and crime scenes were established at both locations, which underwent forensic examinations.

Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad established Strike Force Englorie to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Separately, on Saturday 14 August 2021, officers from Traffic and Highway Patrol Command attempted to stop a Mercedes on Walker Street, North Sydney.

The driver failed to stop and following a short pursuit, the Mercedes was located abandoned on Miller Street, Cammeray, and seized for forensic examination.

It’s alleged the occupants – described as two men in dark-coloured clothing – approached a nearby Toyota Camry and threatened the 76-year-old male driver with a firearm, before fleeing the area in the man’s vehicle.

In September (2021), detectives from the State Crime Command’s Criminal Groups Squad charged two men – aged 31 and 19 – for their alleged roles in that incident. They remain before the courts.

Since that time, an extensive canvass of CCTV has identified that the Mercedes used in the alleged murder attempt was captured travelling with the Audi used in the shooting murder of Bilal Hamze, in the weeks before his death (June 2021).

Homicide Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty, said investigators believe the same individual may be responsible for the cloned number plates which were found to be in use on both vehicles.

“We’re appealing to anyone who may have seen these vehicles travelling or being stored together – in any part of Metropolitan Sydney – to come forward and contact police,” Det Supt Doherty said.

“Of note, both vehicles are depicted traveling westbound in the M4 East Tunnel about 15 minutes apart on Thursday 27 May 2021 and have been identified on traffic cameras across the Sydney metropolitan area after that time.

“Additionally, the Audi has been captured on CCTV using the Sydney Harbour Bridge both before and immediately after the murder of Bilal Hamze earlier this year.

“Both the murder of Bilal and the alleged murder attempt at North Sydney have obvious familial and organised crime related links, with this CCTV revealing a further link to the possible acquisition and storage of the vehicles.

“We know these stolen luxury cars are kept in garages and unit blocks across Sydney until they are later used to facilitate deadly public place shootings and other violent crimes.

“We’re particularly interested in anyone who may have seen these cars travelling around Sydney in May and June this year, or who was perhaps approached through social media or other means to store one of these cars on their property,” Det Supt Doherty said.

Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Englorie investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.