NSW police arrest a man in relation to a murder in Bondi Junction.
An alleged gunman is among a further three men arrested over the shooting death of Alen Moradian. Image by HANDOUT/NSW POLICE
  • homicide

Alleged contract gunman charged with drug lord’s murder

Duncan Murray January 3, 2024

An alleged gunman has been charged with murder over the daylight shooting of convicted drug lord Alen Moradian in Sydney.

NSW Police have charged a further three men over the shooting at a Bondi car park in 2023.

A 24-year-old man arrested at a home in Fairfield Heights is alleged by police to have pulled the trigger in the highly orchestrated shooting.

He has been charged with five offences including murder, drug and firearm related offences, and participating in a criminal group.

Police at the scene of a shooting death in Bondi Junction.
 Police will allege the man accused of killing Alen Moradian was contracted to carry out the murder. Image by Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS 

Police will allege in court the man was hired as a contracted killer, said Detective Acting Superintendent Virginia Gorman, the commander of Task Force Magnus.

“As quite typical with organised crime murders, the people who actually physically go out and do that murder are people who don’t have a personal relationship or reason for doing the murder, but they’ve obviously been contracted in some form to undertake that task,” she said. 

Two other men, aged 27 and 28, were arrested at an address in Macquarie Park on Tuesday, with the younger man subsequently charged with eight firearm offences and the older man with drug-related offences.

Both men were also charged with participating in a criminal group.

During several searches in the same suburb on Tuesday, officers also seized 1.5kg of cocaine, 844 grams of methamphetamine, three encrypted communication devices, and a pistol with 23 rounds of ammunition.

All three men were refused bail and were due to appear in Parramatta Local Court on Wednesday.

Ms Gorman said there are expected to be other arrests made over the matter.

Moradian, 48, was gunned down while sitting in a stationary vehicle in an underground car park near the busy Bondi Junction shopping precinct in Sydney’s east on June 27.

Nicknamed “Fathead”, Moradian was arrested in 2007 along with his wife Natasha Youkhana and others over what police said was one of the largest cocaine and money-laundering rackets in NSW history.

He was sentenced to 16 years and nine months in jail for drug importation and supply.

So far, six people have been charged over various alleged roles in his killing, including the plot’s accused mastermind who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Det Supt Gorman said the biggest concern with organised crime murders is the threat to public safety.

“The fact that they are absolutely disregarding of the safety of anybody, not just the person they’re obviously out to kill,” she said.

“But the fact that they do these things in public places and there is that risk that other people will get harmed.”

Police officer at the scene of a shooting in Bondi Junction.
 Alen Moradian was shot and killed in a car park at the Bondi Junction shopping precinct in June. Image by Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS 

In December, police released CCTV footage of the incident showing two men pulling into the Bondi car park in a Porsche SUV.

One of the men can be seen leaving the vehicle wearing a hood and holding a gun.

The man disappears for several seconds before quickly returning to the Porsche, which then speeds away.

Later footage captured the duo swapping the Porsche for a red Holden Cruze that was parked on nearby James Street in Bondi.

The burnt-out Porsche was subsequently found by police, while the Holden was located burned in the inner-city suburb of Zetland.