FOUR men have appeared in court over allegations they conspired to commit an armed robbery at JDs Sportsbar and the Gold Shop the day after the Melbourne Cup last year.
Lloyd Anthony Murrell, 41, Matthew Kamal, 31, Tekin Ali Saner, 30, and Nono Ngaa, 31, appeared together in the dock of Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday, along with five police officers.
The four men allegedly made an agreement to rob the two Lydiard Street shops on November 2 last year, but were arrested by police shortly after leaving a Canadian home that day.
Several members of the State Surveillance Unit gave evidence during the committal hearing, including Sergeant Gregory Crathern who said Murrell and Kamal had spent about 10 minutes inside JDs three days before the alleged armed robbery was to take place.
The court heard the four men had been the subject of a police investigation code named Operation Dustmen.
Another unit member gave evidence, saying that static, moving and electronic surveillance mechanisms had been used to track the men’s movements in the lead-up to their arrest.
All four men have been charged with conspiring to commit two armed robberies, and the theft of a motor vehicle on November 2 last year.
In total, Murrell stands charged with 41 offences, Kamal with 17, Saner with 30, and Ngaa with 10. Six civilian witnesses also gave evidence yesterday over allegations that Ngaa and another man, armed with guns, entered an occupied Sunshine home on October 26 last year and stole $50,000 worth of goods.
Charge sheets obtained by The Courier allege that Ngaa was carrying a silver revolver during the aggravated burglary.
The committal hearing before magistrate Michelle Hodgson is expected to last three days.