There was little chance Jamie Gao would walk away alive from a pre-arranged meeting with former police officers Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara, according to police working on the case.
Detectives allege the pair had planned to execute the university student so they could steal three kilograms of the drug ice.
They allegedly shot him twice in the chest, stuffed him inside a silver surfboard bag and dumped his body in the ocean on May 21.
"It's the belief of most involved that it was planned," a police officer working on the case said.
Mr Gao had previously met Mr McNamara but the meeting last week was always going to be their last, it will be alleged.
The officer said Mr McNamara had contacted the deceased on public payphones but it was not yet known whether Mr Rogerson had ever met Mr Gao before his death.
"He had told his friends a few times about meeting with a 'Glen'."
Police will allege that there was no evidence to suggest Mr Gao had brought a weapon to the meeting or provoked either of the accused.
"There's nothing to suggest that's what happened," one officer said
He described Mr Gao as a "young kid" who enjoyed partying and possibly did occasional work at his mother's tiling business at Rockdale.
Police are still hunting for the gun used to kill him. And they were not sure who pulled the trigger.
Detectives are also working to track down two Asian males who were in a car with Mr Gao when he arrived to meet Mr McNamara on Arab Road at Padstow.
Court documents will allege the former police officers brought a gun and a silver surfboard bag along to their meeting with Mr Gao. All three of them walked into Rent a Space storage unit 803, and only two walked out.
Several stunned police officers have said they cannot understand why anyone would choose a storage facility to commit such a brazen crime - a place littered with security cameras. "It was so dumb," one detective said.
Police working on the case said there was still "a lot of work to do".
Mr Gao's body was found about two kilometres off Cronulla six days later. Where exactly his body was thrown into the sea is not known.
Mr Rogerson and Mr McNamara are behind bars charged with murder and large-scale drug supply.
They are expected to next appear in court on July 22.