Four charged by Echo Taskforce as part of investigation into drug syndicate

Australian Federal Police, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Victoria Police

Police arrested four people in Melbourne over the past week as part of an investigation into an organised crime syndicate linked to the trafficking of drugs in Victoria.


On Wednesday 6 April, police executed warrants at properties in Maribyrnong and Abbottsford, seizing heroin, methylamphetamine and cash.


A 53-year-old Maribyrnong man was arrested and subsequently charged with trafficking a commercial quantity of methylamphetamine, trafficking a commercial quantity of heroin, and knowingly deal with proceeds of crime.


He was remanded in custody to face Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 28 June.


On Saturday 9 April, detectives from the Echo Taskforce Middle Eastern Organised Crime crew, Illicit Firearms Squad and Major Drug Squad, along with the Australian Federal Police forensics specialists and National Anti Gangs Squad officers in collaboration with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, executed warrants at properties in Albanvale, Footscray, Maribyrnong,  Essendon, Caroline Springs and Southbank.


Three people were arrested and charged as follows:


  • A 50-year-old Footscray man has been charged with traffick large commercial quantity of heroin, traffick large commercial quantity of amphetamine, traffick large commercial quantity of cocaine and knowingly deal with proceeds of crime;
  • A 32-year-old Albanvale man has been charged with traffick large commercial quantity of amphetamine and knowingly deal with proceeds of crime; and
  • A 35-year-old Essendon man has been charged with traffick large commercial quantity of heroin.


Two of the men faced Melbourne Magistrates’ Court yesterday and were remanded in custody, while the third will face court today.


Police also seized a number of items from the properties including cash, vehicles, methylamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.


The five-month investigation has focused on an organised crime syndicate alleged to be involved in the trafficking of a range of drugs into Victoria.


During the investigation, police have seized what is believed to be almost $1.5M in cash, including over $1M seized during last Saturday’s warrants, as well as 30kg of drugs including heroin, methylamphetamine and cocaine.


The investigation remains ongoing.


Australia’s law enforcement agencies need the community’s ongoing assistance to minimise the harm caused by drugs, and urge anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or to submit at confidential crime report at


Quotes attributable to Acting Assistant Commissioner Mick Frewen, Victoria Police Crime Command:


“The trafficking of illicit drugs into this state remains a key focus for Victoria Police and other law enforcement agencies, and today’s arrests are a significant win.


“The four people arrested today are involved in an organised crime syndicate that has brought considerable harm to the Victorian community.


“However it’s not only about the drugs – the money they bring into these syndicates also helps facilitate a myriad of other serious and violent offending.


“Time and time again we see the impact illicit drugs have at all levels, whether that’s assaults, burglaries, drug driving, right through to the health impacts drug use has.


“Victoria Police is committed to doing everything we can to disrupt these syndicates and hold to account those willing to take the risk on bringing illicit drugs to our state.”


Quotes attributable to Robert Jackson, Executive Director Intelligence Operations at the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission:


We congratulate our partners on this significant investigation.


“These results show how we are working together to deliver impacts through our unique intelligence insights to stop serious and organised crime in its tracks.


“We will continue to work with the AFP and Victoria Police on further outcomes of this operation.”