Six Sydney men have been charged and millions of dollars in cash and drugs seized following a multi-agency police investigation into an international drug ring.
Detectives from the State Crime Command of the NSW Police Force, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) set up Operation Phobetor in 2021 to combat and disrupt serious organized crime.
Investigators identified several transnational organized crime networks (OCNs) working together to import illicit drugs into NSW from several countries.
They intercepted and seized 220kg of methylamphetamine in Los Angeles en route to Australia, along with 60kg of cocaine in a Sydney cargo depot hidden in machinery parts and $960,000 in cash.
Police conducted early morning raids on 16 properties across Sydney on Wednesday, seizing more than $1.2 million in cash contained in gym bags, a gun, ammunition, gold bars, cigarettes, cocaine, MDMA, cannabis, steroids, electronic… devices and cryptocurrency wallets and documents.
Police raided 16 properties across Sydney on Wednesday morning, including this house in Picton on the south-west outskirts
Police seized $2.6 million in cash (pictured) during early morning raids and a vehicle stop, including this $1.2 million loot found hidden in a gym bag
In addition to the bag of cash, police seized a gun, ammunition, gold bars, cigarettes, cocaine, MDMA, cannabis, steroids, electronics, cryptocurrency wallets and documents
A drug cache of cocaine, MDMA, cannabis and steroids was also seized
Five men, aged 30, 33, 38, 41 and 44, were arrested during the operation and face numerous charges including supplying a commercial quantity of a banned drug and knowingly handling the proceeds of crime.
Two other men, ages 28 and 32, were arrested in a vehicle stop in Bankstown, where police seized an additional $1.4 million.
The 28-year-old has been charged with involvement in drug distribution and collection, while the 32-year-old has been released pending further investigation.
Meanwhile, United States Homeland Security officers arrested a 23-year-old man in Los Angeles after seizing 128 kg of methylamphetamine, 55 kg of crystal MDMA, 18 kg of cocaine and approximately $15,000 ($22,345).
Detective Superintendent Peter Faux, commander of the NSW Police Organized Crime Squad, said complicity across criminal syndicates was becoming increasingly common.
“Organized crime networks are usually notoriously competitive for control of illicit drug trafficking,” he said Thursday.
“However, what we have seen through this operation and other information is that some members of OCNs are working together to bring drugs into our country,” he said.
Police had to break into this car during a vehicle stop in Bankstown
Two other men, aged 28 and 32, were arrested during a vehicle stop (pictured) in Bankstown, where police seized a further $1.4 million
Wednesday’s raids were part of a multi-agency police probe into an international drug ring that stretched to both sides of the world
Five men were arrested during a search warrant, while two others were arrested during a vehicle stop in Bankstown. Six were later charged with a range of offences
“While the various methods of obfuscation are not new, it is the level of involvement of various criminal syndicates to bring in shipments that is noteworthy.”
“We will continue to work with our state and international colleagues to identify these supply chains and disrupt their business model.”
AFP Commander Kate Ferry said the operation was an example of law enforcement at its best.
“These criminals are undermining our national security and our economy. They make our suburbs and streets unsafe,” she said.
“The way Australians live will change unless illicit drug use is greatly reduced and these criminals are not brought to justice.”
The investigations are ongoing.
Of seven men arrested in Sydney on Wednesday, six have been charged while the other has been released pending further investigation. Pictured is one of the arrests
Police seized bags of evidence (pictured) from a vehicle stop in Bankstown on Wednesday.
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health/six-sydney-men-charged-over-alleged-links-to-international-drug-ring-another-arrested-in-la/ Six Sydney men have been charged with alleged links to an international drug ring and another has been arrested in LA