Sydney men charged over multinational crime ring importing drugs to NSW

| 25.11,22. 12:35 AM |

Sydney men charged over multinational crime ring importing drugs to NSW

Millions of dollars in cash and illicit drugs headed to Australia from the US and Europe have been seized by authorities, after an 18-month operation.

Six people across Sydney aged between 28 and 44 have been arrested and charged for their alleged role in the international organised crime network.

Detectives in NSW, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission worked with border force and their international counterparts to uncover several criminal groups allegedly working together to import drugs into the country.

More than $3 million in cash and 300kg of methylamphetamine and cocaine bound for Australian streets has been seized as part of the operation targeting organised crime in NSW, which began in 2021.

Two men walking away from a house, one face blurred the other man smiling
A detective escorts a man from a Picton home.(Supplied: NSW Police)

Investigators seized more than 200kg of methylamphetamine in Los Angeles which was bound for Sydney, 60kg of cocaine — believed to be sourced from Germany — hidden inside machinery in a Sydney depot, and almost $1 million in cash.

Yesterday, police conducted 16 search warrants across businesses and homes in Sydney's south-west, with items including a rifle, ammunition, cryptocurrency wallets, steroids and documents taken for forensic examination.

A man and a woman with a police car behind them.
Police will allege in court a 33-year-old Earlwood man used his job at a logistics company to monitor consignments arriving in Sydney.(Supplied: NSW Police)

During a vehicle stop in Bankstown an additional $1.4m was found.

NSW Police Detective Superintendent Peter Faux said some organised criminal groups were working together to bring drugs into the country.

"While the different methods of concealment aren't new, it's the level of involvement from various criminal syndicates to bring in shipments which is of note," Superintendent Faux said.

AFP Commander Kate Ferry said criminal groups believed they were protected from police if they operated in multiple countries.

"They couldn't be more wrong. These criminals undermine our national security and our economy," she said.  

"The way Australians live will be changed if illicit drug use is not greatly reduced and if these serious criminals are not brought to justice."

In Los Angeles, a 23-year-old man — who police say was not an Australian national — was arrested as part of the sting after he was allegedly found with cash, MDMA and cocaine.

US Homeland Security Investigations attaché Ernest Verina said American authorities would continue to work with their Australian counterparts to tackle organised crime.

A bag with cash inside
Bags filled with $50 and $100 bills were seized. (Supplied: NSW Police)

Five men are due to appear in court today.

A 33-year-old Picton man has been refused bail and is due to appear at Picton Local Court today charged with nine offences including supplying commercial quantities of a prohibited drug.

Buckets filled with a white substance contained in smaller bags
About 220kg of methylamphetamine bound for Australia was seized in Los Angeles.(Supplied: NSW Police)

A 41-year-old man arrested at a Wetherill Park business is due to appear at Liverpool Court today charged with three counts of importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug, and one count of committing an offence for the benefit of an organisation.

A 44-year-old man arrested in Sefton and a 30-year-old man arrested in Belfield are due to appear at Bankstown Local Court today.

So is a 28-year-old man who was arrested during the vehicle stop in Bankstown.

A 38-year-old Earlwood man charged with eight offences, including four counts of conspiracy to commit offence, was refused bail to appear at Burwood Local Court in January.

A 32-year-old man was released pending further inquiries.

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