'Cannon fodder' gangsters patrolling Sydney suburb

Dozens of police have locked down multiple inner Sydney streets in an attempt to "rattle" organised-crime figures reportedly deploying private bodyguards to control the area.

Officers from the Raptor Squad - set up to target bikie and other gangs - and other commands flooded parts of Drummoyne in the city's inner west to undertake firearm checks on Thursday night.

After searching an address on St Georges Crescent, home to a stretch of multimillion-dollar waterfront properties, officers locked down several surrounding streets to search cars and talk to neighbours.

Raptor Squad commander Andrew Koutsoufis said organised-crime figures living on the street had recruited private security for protection and they had been harassing residents.

"They are well aware that they are under threat from other individuals from other criminal networks," he told reporters on Friday.

"So they have these associates sitting in front of their house in an effort to protect them from these other criminal networks that are out to get them ... so they're on high alert."

Detective Superintendent Koutsoufis said officers had been targeting senior figures in the Haouchar crime network who were living in the area.

The syndicate, largely operated by leaders based in Lebanon, has been tied to $1.5 billion in cryptocurrency transactions and various firearm, drug, tobacco and money-laundering offences.

The Sydney leadership base had been using "lower end associates" to act as security guards, Det Supt Koutsoufis said.

"They're almost like cannon fodder for these people," he said.

Officers spoke to more than 100 residents, seized $30,000 cash and searched seven people and five vehicles, according to a police statement.

But despite the heavy law enforcement presence, no charges were laid or weapons seized.

Det Supt Koutsoufis said the job of police did not just involve reacting to crime but stopping it before it happened.

“We do that through proactive operations like this; focusing on firearm compliance, vehicle searches, and talking directly to residents - who shouldn’t have to feel threatened just by where they live," he said.

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