Victoria Police

Police Target Organised Crime Syndicates Behind Arson Attacks Across Melbourne

Victoria Police has established an operation on two feuding crime gangs who were believed to organise a series of arson attacks across Melbourne.

The operation comes in response to ongoing disputes between two criminal groups connected to Middle Eastern Organised Crime entities.

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The investigation will focus on at least 11 incidents dating back to June 24, including vehicle arson, attacks on residential properties, and targeted fires at businesses. 

Police say these incidents have caused significant damage, and while no injuries have been reported, the potential danger to the public is of great concern.

Police have also released CCTV footage from the business fire in Collingwood on June 29, which captures a man getting out of the silver SUV and setting the property alight.

Detectives are working to establish the motives behind these ongoing disputes and are actively engaging with residents, business owners, and associates connected to the affected addresses.

Detective Inspector Chris Murray, Arson and Explosives Squad, said the use of arson by criminal groups to target and intimidate others significantly impacted the community.

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“It is only sheer luck that one of these fires hasn’t resulted in the death or serious injury of someone, and it’s clear they have been lit with very little regard for the safety (of) anyone else in these areas at the time,” Mr Murray said.

“A fire can very easily get out of control and effectively cost innocent parties either their lives or their livelihoods. It’s behaviour that is utterly reckless and completely criminal,” he said.

“We have significant investigative and forensic resources from the Arson and Explosives Squad supporting the investigation into these incidents, and we are doing everything we can to ensure those involved are held to account.”

Police are urging anyone with information or relevant CCTV or dash-cam footage to come forward and assist in the investigation. 

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