Three men have been charged over the execution-style murder of a father-of-two who was shot before he could give evidence at a trial relating to Sydney's infamous "Golden Gun" cocaine syndicate.
Gemahl Maika, 38, was gunned down in April 2011 after he returned from a night TAFE class to the home he shared with his wife and two children at Glen Alpine in Sydney's south-west.
He was shot up to 10 times in his garage. He tried to escape the hail of bullets but collapsed on his next door neighbour's front lawn. He was found by his 21-year-old stepson.
At the time of his shooting, Mr Maika was a Crown witness in the criminal cases of a group of people who ran a multimillion-dollar cocaine syndicate and engaged in massive money laundering.
Detectives on Wednesday arrested three men over the alleged hit more than three years ago.
A 33-year-old man from Tweed Heads, arrested in Wiley Park, and a 29-year-old man from Peakhurst, in Sydney's south, were arrested and being interviewed by detectives late on Wednesday. Both men are expected to be charged with murder.
The third man, a 46-year-old living in Sydney's central business district, was expected to be charged with accessory before the fact to murder and concealing a serious offence.
Homicide squad commander Detective Superintendent Mick Willing said the determination shown by the men and women working on the three-year investigation, known as Strike Force Hedgegrow, had been "exemplary".
“As with all of our investigations, we are wholly committed to getting to the bottom of this case and providing some form of closure for Mr Maika's family and friends," he said.
The Golden Gun syndicate was one of the biggest drug groups broken by Operation Schoale, a joint investigation by the NSW Police Force and the NSW Crime Commission.
The group allegedly imported and sold more than 300 kilograms of cocaine in 2005 and 2006.
In the raids that broke up the syndicate in 2007, police netted almost $20 million in cash, property, motor vehicles, high-grade cocaine and 17 firearms, including a gold-plated .357 calibre pistol.
Two men arrested over the syndicate were also running a high-class car service involving stretch Hummer and Chrysler limousines.
Mr Maika was to have given evidence relating to death threats against the chief Crown witness in the case, who was known as Mr T.
Mr T was a family friend who was also involved in the syndicate but became a Crown witness and entered the witness protection program.
Sources say Mr T's life remains at risk.
The seven main players involved in the Golden Gun syndicate are serving between five and 30 years in prison.
Among those is Alen Moradian, known as Fathead, who was sentenced to 16 years nine months' jail for importing and supplying cocaine. It was Moradian whose wife, Natasha Youkhana, once urged him to behave more like the TV New Jersey mafia boss, Tony Soprano.
"Why do you just sit there and show off – 'I am the man, I am the man.' Do you see Tony Soprano doing that?" she wrote in an email. " ... He doesn't care who people think is the boss, [money] is his number one priority. You, on the other hand, want the attention, you want the big head, you love it. People like that won't survive.''
Moradian's partner in crime, Luke Sparos, known as Fatboy, was sentenced to 15 years.
Police have not ruled out further arrests in relation to Mr Maika's death.