Crime expert compares recent Australian gang-related violence to the streets of Brazil
Ongoing gang crime in Sydney including a horrifying alleged kidnapping during which a man had his teeth ripped out has been likened to the streets of crime-ridden Brazil.
Peter Vuong, 26, was allegedly ambushed at a home in Smithfield, in Sydney’s west, about 5.20am last Thursday by a group of six men wearing face-coverings and armed with sledgehammers and firearms.
The men are accused of pursuing revenge over a botched drug deal involving one of Mr Vuong’s relatives.
Police will allege Mr Vuong was held for six days at a rundown home on Canterbury Road in Belmore, in Sydney’s southwest, and suffered intense ‘physical violence’, allegedly being attacked with a sledgehammer and having his teeth ripped out.
Mr Vuong was rescued by dozens of heavily armed tactical police officers on Tuesday in Belmore, southwest Sydney
Police will allege Mr Vuong (left) suffered intense ‘physical violence’, allegedly being attacked with a sledgehammer and having his teeth ripped out
He was rescued on Tuesday night by dozens of heavily armed tactical police officers.
Criminologist Xanthe Mallet said she had ‘never seen anything like’ the alleged kidnapping in Australia before.
‘This is the kind of thing you would expect in South America – Brazil – for example,’ she told the Today Show on Thursday.
‘To have somebody be kidnapped, held for this long and to be very violently assaulted is quite extraordinary’.
Brazil has one of the highest crime rates in the world, with epidemic levels of violent crime and homicide.
Organized crime in South America’s largest country has expanded in recent years and violence between rival groups is a regular occurrence.
Criminologist Xanthe Mallet likened the violent alleged kidnapping of Peter Vuong to gang-related crime experiened in Brazil (stock image of Brazilian police pictured)
Ms Mallet said she believed the types of offences associated with gang-related crime in Australia had shifted in recent years.
‘We’re seeing people being shot in the street, total disregard for the public, for families,’ she said.
‘I think the police are concerned about the different types of violence because the rule book seems to have been thrown out with some of these organised gangs.’
Ms Mallet said the alleged kidnapping of Mr Vuong was ‘very frightening’.
‘I’m sure that everybody in Sydney and especially that neighbourhood is going to be thrown by this,’ she said.
A number of high-profile gang-related crimes have dominated the news in the past 12 months, including the brutal execution-style shooting of celebrity chauffer Taha Sabbagh less than two weeks ago.
Crime expert Xanthe Mallet (pictured) said the types of offences associated with gang-related crime in Australia had shifted in recent years
Ms Mallet said police would be keeping investigations relating to Mr Vuong ‘covert’ so criminals would not find out about their methods, but she expeted more details to emerge ‘over the coming days’.
Daily Mail Australia revealed on Monday that security cameras were set up at the Smithfield home Mr Vuong was snatched from last Wednesday – the day before the early morning kidnapping.
Neighbours said spotlights had also been set up in recent weeks around the home’s perimeter.
Court documents obtained by Daily Mail Australia reveal the occupant of the Smithfield house, Timothy Bowyer, was injured during the alleged abduction at his parents’ home.
Police will also allege the group demanded another man, who trades crypto currency and works as a property investor, cough up the sum of $5million. He is believed to be a relative of the Bowyer family.
The men allegedly sent the unnamed crypto trader a series of texts on an encrypted device threatening to kill Mr Vuong if their demands were not met.
It was alleged the kidnappers of Mr Vuong were pursuing revenge over a drug deal gone wrong (Mr Vuong pictured)
Six men have been charged in relation to the incident, with police alleging the group abducted and then physically abused Mr Vuong who was detained against his will for ransom
Police are investigating whether Mr Vuong, who has no criminal history except for minor historic traffic offences, was the intended target of the alleged attack.
The accused kidnappers were allegedly pursuing revenge over a drug deal involving one of his relatives that had gone wrong.
Daily Mail Australia does not suggest that Mr Vuong, the Bowyers or their crypto trader relative are involved in any crime or the alleged botched drug deal.
Mr Vuong was located inside a decrepit property in nearby Belmore home after a police operation spanning several days.
He was assessed by paramedics at the scene before being transported to hospital in a stable condition.
Six men have been charged in relation to the incident, with police alleging the group abducted and then physically abused Mr Vuong who was detained against his will for ransom.
Viliami Siasau, 19, Valali Tonga, 20, Sunia Siasau, 20, and John Totau Fahamokioa, 20, faced Bankstown Local Court on Wednesday, while Lolo Liavaa, 19 and Kitueau Tatafu, 21 appeared in Parramatta Local Court.
Fahamokioa was granted bail under strict conditions, and bail was refused for Siasau, Tonga, Saisau, Kitueau and Tatafu.
All men are due to next face court on May 10.