Police have made sweeping arrests after four men allegedly assaulted and threatened a man in an alleged extortion attempt in rural NSW.
The elite anti-gang Raptor Squad launched an investigation in conjunction with the NSW Crime Commission last month into alleged extortion.
Officers were told that in the months prior a 50-year-old man from the state’s Riverina region was approached multiple times by four men.
Police allege the Griffith man was repeatedly set upon by the group, who assaulted and threatened to hand over a sum of money.
Following inquiries, Murray River police conducted a high-risk traffic stop near Davey Rd at Table Top about 10.30am on Wednesday.
Police arrested and charged a 56-year-old man at the scene with a range of violence, extortion, and criminal group-related offences.
Only hours later, Raptor Squad officers launched simultaneous raids at two homes in Forbes in the NSW Central West region.
There officers arrested a further two men – aged 44 and 50 – who were taken to Parkes Police Station and charged with the same offences.
The final alleged culprit was similarly arrested a short time later by Raptor Squad police after raids at Merrylands and Guildford in Sydney.
The 48-year-old man, along with the three others, was refused bail to appear before a NSW court on Thursday.
Following further inquiries, Raptor Squad police executed two more searches in Griffith and Stanbridge.
At least 17 firearms were seized at the Stanbridge address and a Firearms License Suspension Notice was served on a 55-year-old man.
Police investigations are ongoing.