Detectives have charged a fourth person over alleged arsons at a Bankstown function centre over the 2016 Christmas period.
Strike Force Babel was established by detectives from the Financial Crime Squad's Arson Unit and Bankstown Local Area Command to investigate two fires that police suspect were deliberately lit at a function centre on Restwell Street, Bankstown, in December 2016 and January 2017.
Emergency services were called to the first fire about 4.45am on Boxing Day (Monday 26 December 2016). The blaze was extinguished a short time later, but had caused major smoke damage.
About 6pm eight days later (Tuesday 3 January 2017), emergency services were called to another fire, which caused significant structural damage.
Three people have previously been charged during the investigation. They remain before the courts.
Following further investigations, Strike Force Babel detectives, assisted by South West Metropolitan Region Enforcement Squad, executed a search warrant at a home at Greenacre about 3.45pm yesterday (Thursday 22 February 2018).
Investigators seized a number of items relevant to the investigation.
A 44-year-old man was arrested at the home and taken to Bankstown Police Station, where he was charged with two counts of dishonesty for gain, damage or destroy property by fire, possess or use prohibited weapon without permit, use prohibited weapon contrary to prohibition weapons order and pervert the course of justice.
Police will allege in court that the man was paid to organise the arsons at the function centre.
He has been refused bail to appear at Bankstown Local Court later today (Friday 23 February 2018).
Investigations are continuing, and further arrests are expected.
Police are urging anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Babel investigators to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.