Google protects Mohammed Skaf’s privacy by permanently blurring images of the pack rapist’s childhood home on ‘streetview’ and maps.
Daily Mail Australia can reveal that the house, shot by an unidentified gunman Sunday night, has been completely blacked out on Google since Skaf was released from Long Bay prison after serving nearly 21 years for a series of gang rapes in 2000.
Police were called to the house on Valencia Street in Greenacre, about 10 miles southwest of Sydney’s CBD, just after 9 p.m. following reports of bullets fired into the house.
Skaf, now 39 years old, is said to live in a granny flat behind the one-story house.
Police guard Skaf family home in Greenacre after Sunday night shooting
After his arrest, Mohammed Skaf (left) and his older brother and gang leader Bilal Skaf (right) committed a series of rapes that shook Australia in the weeks leading up to the 2000 Sydney Olympics
The Skaf family’s home has been permanently blurred by Google after a request to remove it from the company’s Maps and Street View websites sometime after the 2021 release of gang rapist Mohammed from prison
He has been at the property since being paroled for rapes as a 17-year-old in a gang led by his older brother, Bilal, who is still in prison.
A NSW police spokesman said a vehicle fled the street shortly after the house was riddled with bullets, and Skaf’s mother Baria is believed to have been “treated for the effects of shock”.
At the time of the rapes – in the weeks leading up to the 2000 Sydney Olympics – Mohammed and Bilal Skaf were living in another family home on the same street.
Mohammed and the other Lebanese-Australian youth led by Bilal went on a rampage in southwestern Sydney targeting young Australian women of non-Lebanese descent.
At least six women and girls were held against their will and repeatedly sexually assaulted in four attacks that shocked Australia.
A woman was raped 25 times by 14 assailants in three locations for being called an ‘Aussie pig’ and told she would be raped ‘Leb style’ in an ordeal that would last six hours.
Mohammed was convicted of two of the rapes and his brother Bilal, now 41, was sentenced to more than 30 years for orchestrating the attacks and will not be eligible for parole until February 2033.
Police are questioning the Skaf family after shots were fired at the house around 9pm with Mohammed Skaf’s father Mustafa on the porch behind a man believed to be his youngest son
Mohammed Skaf will return to the family home in Greenacre in October 2021 after serving nearly 21 years for the rapes of the gang of Lebanese Australians that raged in 2000
Mohammed Skaf enters the front door of the Skaf family home for the first time after being released from prison
On leaving the prison, Mohammed was driven to his family’s house to live with his parents, sister and younger brother.
Anyone can apply to have their face, car registration and house on Google blur, if they give a reasonable reason, but it is up to the multinational company whether or not to grant the request.
Daily Mail Australia asked Google about its policy on granting privacy on request to individuals who want their homes, vehicles or faces anonymized on their global sites.
Google responded that it faded Street View images of homes through the “Report a Problem” tool on its site upon request.
The company did not respond to questions about whether Google knew it was clouding the home of a convicted criminal when it removed Mohammed Skaf’s home from its site.
In an unrelated case, a Condell Park man kidnapped in January this year for a $3 million ransom by four men was obscured by Google before the attack.
The house on Third Avenue, Condell Park, had a sophisticated security system and CCTV.
Omar Elomar’s kidnapping took place on Sunday, January 9 at about 7:30 p.m. and Mr. Elomar presented himself to Bankstown Hospital three days later, battered and bruised.
An extraordinary CCTV footage later emerged of the moment when Mr. Elomar was kidnapped, with a white BMW SUV pulled up outside on Third Avenue and four men rushed at the 39-year-old and assaulted him.
The Third Way. The Condell Park home from which Omar Elomar was kidnapped in January this year by four men whose deed was dramatically captured on CCTV
The same house in Condell Park as it appears on Google maps, evident after a request to blur it out was granted prior to Mr Elomar’s kidnapping
Omar Elomar (right) reappeared with minor injuries after being abducted by gang members outside his home (above) in Sydney’s southwest in January
The video shows a fifth man pointing a gun at the driver of a black Lexus IS350 parked in the driveway before the kidnappers stopped Mr Elomar in the BMW X6 and drove off.
HOW TO GET YOUR HOME – OR FACE OR CAR – FROM GOOGLE
It’s relatively easy to ask Google to blur the image of your house or apartment on Google Maps or Street View
This is what you do:
1. Go to Google Maps and enter your home address
2. Enter Street View mode by dragging the small yellow human-shaped icon in the lower right corner of the screen onto the map in front of your home
3. With your home in view, click on ‘Report a problem’ in the lower right corner of the screen
4. Center the red box on your house and select ‘My house’ in the ‘Request blur’ field
5. After selecting ‘my house’ you will be asked to ‘add additional information that will help us identify the correct property to be faded’. Also keep in mind that if we apply blur to an image, it will be permanent”
6. You can write in the field provided why you want the image to be blurred, for example for security reasons, but Google has indicated that it will blur on request
7. Enter your email address and click ‘Send’
After you select ‘my house’, Google will ask you to ‘add additional information to help us identify the correct house to blur’, but the blur will then be permanent