A well respected Nigerian businessman who is also the Eze Edigbo of Australia, Chief Maximus Osuamadi, has been jailed by Sydney court for being the brain behind some high profile crimes and running a drug cartel syndicate, which operates between Nigeria, China, Brazil and other Asian countries.
According to The Telegraph UK, the Nigerian community leader was actually the boss of a well run West African crime syndicate, before he was busted by underground cops.
Osuamadi was a highly successful businessman and respected community leader of Sydney’s growing Nigerian community. According to the special report carried out by the newspaper:
“The Chief, as he liked to be known, drove a Mercedes-Benz and was deeply involved in local issues in western Sydney, meeting local politicians such as former premier Morris Iemma and senior police officers.
But in reality Chief Maximus was the boss of a West African crime syndicate which some police likened to the black Mafia of Sydney with the Chief, a man living a double life as family man and businessman, frequently needing to travel to China and Nigeria, as its Godfather.
In 2010, Strike Force Bellevue was set up and 11 people were arrested after undercover operatives infiltrated the syndicate.
‘It was a secret criminal society in this city and beyond, which contributed significantly to the illegal drug supply in the Sydney metropolitan area,’ said Detective Superintendent Nicholas Bingham, Drug Squad Commanderat the time.
They had no criminal records and really were an unknown criminal element.
In Parramatta District court on Friday, Osuamadi was sentenced to six years jail for supplying a commercial quantity of methamphetamine during an undercover operation in Auburn Botanical Gardens and in a series of secretly-taped conversations.
When arrested at his Granville home, he remained indignant. He said he was of royal blood with ties to some of NSW’s leading politicians, the local police and even the commissioner, he told police.
‘Everybody in Granville knows me, the police there and the local politicians. I have an identity. I am Chief of the Igbo (Nigerian) community and people call me Chief Maximus. I don’t know if you know about the African tradition of royalty. We trace our royalty back to the Queen Sheeba of Israel.’
Maximus owned a string of businesses including an African grocery store, hair salon, a limousine company, Internet cafe and a Western Union money transfer franchise but said many of them had collapsed.
However, police said it was all a front for his drug business, which helped pay for his lavish lifestyle.
The 49-year-old chief was born in Nigeria and raised in the Vatican where he was studying to become a priest before dropping out. He arrived in Australia in 1988 and became a citizen in 1990.
It is known to investigators that members of the syndicate and the accused are involved in the supply of methamphetamine and have access to false identification and passports.
The lengthy closed court trial heard evidence that Osuamadi, a male co-accused and an undercover officer, had a conversation where the Chief had said he was planning to travel to China to organize heroin smuggling.
Chief Maximus’s trial was held in closed court because evidence by undercover police and their methods in cracking the syndicate were heard in camera.
Drug Squad Investigation Co-ordinator, Detective Inspector Jason Smith, said the police were confronted with a criminal group of which people had very little knowledge.
‘West African organised crime syndicates had not previously been the subject of a dedicated criminal investigation by an Australian law enforcement agency.”