•   Monday, 17 Jun, 2024
OneFour: Australia police foil alleged plot to kill rap group members

OneFour: Australia police foil alleged plot to kill rap group members

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The men, named in media reports as Brandon Maseuli and Yousef Rima, are part of an international criminal syndicate that originated in Lebanon.

Police said the group takes on contracts to carry out violent crimes such as murders and kidnappings.

Arrested in Sydney on Thursday, Maseuli, 26, and Rima, 20, have been handed multiple charges.

They include conspiracy to murder, kidnapping, directing a criminal group, and various drug and robbery-related offences.

Authorities have also applied for an arrest warrant for a 22-year-old man who is believed to be offshore.

Police said Maseuli and Rima had conspired to murder "four high-profile men from Sydney's northwest on behalf of another network".

Their targets have been identified as four members of the drill rap group OneFour - Jerome "J Emz" Misa, Pio "YP" Misa, Spencer "Spenny" Magalogo and Dahcell "Celly" Ramos. It is unclear why the fifth member, Salec "Lekks" Su'a, was not targeted.

The plot against the OneFour members is believed to have been sparked by a conflict between the rappers and the group that allegedly hired the criminal syndicate's Sydney cell, the Sydney Morning Herald said, citing police authorities.

Police discovered the alleged plot as part of a broader investigation into the Sydney cell, which Maseuli and Rima are part of. They also allege that it was linked to several kidnappings, including one involving more than 722kg (1,600 pounds) of cocaine.

Both suspects appeared before the Liverpool Local Court on Thursday. They were refused bail.

OneFour, who are among Australia's best known rap groups, have themselves had several run-ins with Australia police. Their music often includes dark themes and violent lyrics, which police claim can incite violence.

They were forced to cancel a national tour in 2019 after police expressed "safety concerns".

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