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Skaf gang rapist Mohamed Ghanem exposed as fumbling drug dealer

A Skaf gang rapist who was freed from jail after fourteen years went on to become a drug dealer living just around the corner from the scene of his sex crimes. 

Mohamed Ghanem, 35, now faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to dealing about a kilogram of the drug ice, with a street value of about $140,000.  

Ghanem was described as the ‘enthusiastic lieutenant’ of rapist ringleader Bilal Skaf, when he, Skaf and six friends raped two schoolgirls, 17 and 18, in August 2000. 

And court documents seen by Daily Mail Australia have revealed how Ghanem once again embraced a life of crime after walking free from prison in December 2015.

Less than two years after his release, Ghanem was on the phone, speaking in code and trying to arrange a large drug deal with Brisbane businessman Hussein Sarhan. 

Meanwhile, he had moved back into his Greenacre home – just around the corner from Northcote Park, the infamous site where he raped and assaulted two girls.  

Mohamed Ghanem was an ‘enthusiastic lieutenant’ of pack rape ringleader Bilal Skaf at 17. Now, at 35, Daily Mail Australia can reveal he has admitted to being at the centre of a drug supply ring while living metres away from the scene of his gang rape crime

Police surveillance captures Mohamed Ghanem (far right), Mahmoud Chami (left) and Belal Hajeid in 2000

Police surveillance captures Mohamed Ghanem (far right), Mahmoud Chami (left) and Belal Hajeid in 2000

The young men were being watched by police as they visited Bondi Beach on October 7, 2000. Right to left: Mahmoud Chami, Belal Hajeid and Mohamed Ghanem

The young men were being watched by police as they visited Bondi Beach on October 7, 2000. Right to left: Mahmoud Chami, Belal Hajeid and Mohamed Ghanem

The bag of methylamphetamine seized by cops from Hussein Sarhan, Mohamed Ghanem's co-accused, in a police sting

The bag of methylamphetamine seized by cops from Hussein Sarhan, Mohamed Ghanem’s co-accused, in a police sting

Court documents revealed Ghanem and the businessman used car brands as code words to negotiate the purchase of 993 grams of methylamphetamine.  

In an agreed statement facts tendered to the NSW District Court, Ghanem is heard asking Hussein: ‘Do you want the BMW or the Mercedes? The Mercedes right? 

His co-conspirator replied: ‘The Mercedes, the Mercedes whose type is that same light grey, nice.’  

The pair pretended to be speaking about car mileage, when they were actually talking about the price of drugs. 

‘Now I’m the guy that has the cars,’ Ghanem announced to Sarhan when they reached the advanced stages of planning.  

Sarhan replied: ‘Yeah it’s one hundred and twenty kilometres, right?’ 

Over the course of three weeks, Sarhan arranged to drive down from Queensland to Sydney and meet up with Ghanem, the facts said.  

What the pair didn’t know is NSW and Queensland police had been listening to every call. 

Sarhan checked in to room 10 of Bankstown’s Motel 10 and arranged for the Skaf gang rapist to meet him there.

Mohamed Ghanem was living a short walk from the park where he participated in the gang rape of two schoolgirls

Mohamed Ghanem was living a short walk from the park where he participated in the gang rape of two schoolgirls

Crime scene: This is the park, today, where the two girls went through a terrible ordeal

Crime scene: This is the park, today, where the two girls went through a terrible ordeal

The facts said the next day Ghanem jumped into a car with Kamal El Jamal, the third co-accused. (Neither Hussein or Jamal is associated with the Skaf gang’s crimes). 

The motel’s CCTV cameras captured Ghanem, El Jamal and Sarhan meeting in the car park and carrying a yellow plastic bag into a room. 

Sarhan then packed his car and left. 

But he was soon pulled over by a highway patrol car – and found an unmarked police car had stopped in front of him and another on the BMW’s side. 

Panicking, he then rammed his BMW into the unmarked cars, pushing them across three lanes of traffic and into a concrete median barrier, the facts said. 

Eventually, he stopped and got out of the car. 

Sarhan denied there were any drugs in the car and blamed Ghanem for the items in the boot. 

‘Some mine some Mohamed. I send it to Brisbane for him,’ he told police. 

Police opened the black sports bag carrying the drugs and picked out a clear plastic bag filled with a crystalline substance. 

When police asked if he was carrying ice, Sarhan denied knowing what ‘ice’ was, the agreed court facts said. 

Hussein Sarhan is arrested by police on November 27, 2017. He accelerated his BMW into unmarked cars as officers prepared to swoop

Hussein Sarhan is arrested by police on November 27, 2017. He accelerated his BMW into unmarked cars as officers prepared to swoop

Sarhan's damaged BMW 4WD after he rammed police

Sarhan’s damaged BMW 4WD after he rammed police

Later that afternoon, Ghanem left his Rawson Rd home and was arrested and charged by police. 

Ghanem recently pleaded guilty to supplying a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment.

Ghanem, Sarhan and El Jamal have all been committed for sentence for supplying a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug later this month.  

Bilal Skaf and his brother Mohammed remain behind bars for the gang rapes.

Bilal Skaf (pictured) was originally sentenced to a record 55 years imprisonment after leading a gang of men in four pack rapes in the year 2000. Ghanem took part in one attack only

Bilal Skaf (pictured) was originally sentenced to a record 55 years imprisonment after leading a gang of men in four pack rapes in the year 2000. Ghanem took part in one attack only

His brother Mohammad Skaf 

His brother Mohammad Skaf 

BILAL SKAF RAPES: MOHAMED GHANEM’S VILE CRIME

Ghanem and seven other men, including Bilal Skaf and his brother Mohammed, approached two schoolgirls at Chatswood about 9pm, during late night shopping, on Thursday, August 10, 2000. 

The girls agreed to go smoke pot with the men nearby under the proviso they would get a lift home. 

They piled into a white van with Bilal and three of his accomplices. Meantime, Ghanem and a further three men jumped into a red car.

Ghanem – described Crown Prosecutor Margaret Cunneen as Bilal’s ‘enthusiastic lieutenant’ – was in close communication with him during the drive.  

It was past 11pm and the girls had already been forced into giving Bilal Skaf and his friends oral sex at Northcote Park, Greenacre, when Ghanem arrived.

Ghanem and his three friends ran over to one of the victims and started assaulting her. 

Some of the men kicked her in the legs and one picked her up and threw her into the bushes. 

Ghanem and the four men threatened the girl and demanded oral sex. 

Ghanem and his friends then went on and sexually assaulted the other victim. 

Ghanem was convicted of the aggravated sexual assault, detention and assault of both women.  

Why was Ghanem on parole in the first place?

When Ghanem was jailed, his sentencing judge heard evidence he was a ‘medium to high risk of reoffending’. 

The gang rapist was handed a 17 year sentence with a 12 year non-parole period after being acquitted on appeal of one of the two pack-rapes he was accused of participating in. 

Ghanem’s non-parole period expired in November 2013 but he wasn’t released from jail for a further two years. 

Ghanem appealed the parole authority’s decision in 2014 but a NSW Supreme Court justice said his progress had been ‘slow’. 

Justice Robert Allan Hulme said he had spent his adult life behind bars and needed ‘graduated progress… to reintegrate’ back into the community.   

Ghanem’s parole bid was dismissed, despite his lawyer telling the court he had completed several programs in jail.   

Two years later, the Parole Authority released Ghanem with a slew of additional conditions including electronic monitoring.

He was banned from contacting his co-offenders without prior approval and ordered not to contact or communicate with organised crime networks.  

His parole was revoked in November 2017 due to the new charges and he had been bail refused since.  

Ghanem’s new charge means he will face up to 20 additional years behind bars upon sentencing. Sentencing will begin later this month. 

WHY THE SKAF GANG RAPES WERE ‘WORSE THAN MURDER’

Gang leader Bilal Skaf

Gang leader Bilal Skaf

Bilal Skaf led a gang of more than a dozen young Lebanese Australians who pack raped four young women in late 2000.

One of the victims, an 18-year-old woman, was raped 40 times by 14 gang members over four hours in an attack coordinated by mobile phone. 

She was then dumped at a train station after being hosed down.

During her ordeal the woman was called an ‘Aussie pig’, told she was going to get it ‘Leb-style’ and asked if ‘Leb c*** tasted better than Aussie c***’.

The rapists originally received  sentences totaling more than 240 years with Bilal Skaf being jailed for 55 years, later reduced to a minimum 28.

Judge Michael Finnane compared the Skaf gang’s depravity to outrages committed by invading armies in times of war and said their crimes were ‘worse than murder’.

‘These were not random attacks and, in my view, they were aimed at creating terror in the community,’ Judge Finnane said.

‘It seemed clear to me that these men were sending out a message to the community in Sydney. 

‘Skaf and the members of this gang clearly wanted public recognition for what they had done.’ 

Only Bilal Skaf and his brother Mohammed are still in jail for the rapes.

Many of the rapists have never been identified and police fear there were more victims who did not come forward.

  

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