Organised Crime Squad detectives have charged two people following an investigation into a criminal syndicate allegedly importing and supplying methamphetamine in NSW.
In 2019, detectives from the State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Squad – assisted by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the Department of Home Affairs, and the New South Wales Crime Commission (NSWCC) – commenced an investigation into the activities of an organised criminal network attempting to import methylamphetamine into Australia.
Detectives later established a strike force to continue the investigation of the syndicate.
As part of ongoing inquiries, at the request of NSW Police, officers from the Australian Border Force (ABF) and AFP identified a consignment with abnormalities on Friday 18 August 2023. During a subsequent deconstruction, officers located 100kg of methylamphetamine hidden inside duffle bags inside a container.
During the course of the investigation, police seized in excess of $1 million cash, and electronic devices believed to be Dedicated Encrypted Criminal Communication Devices (DECCD). All items were sent for forensic examination.
Following further investigation, strike force detectives conducted a controlled delivery at a storage facility at Caringbah about 11am yesterday (Tuesday 29 August 2023), where they arrested a 34-year-old man.
About two hours later, strike force investigators – assisted by South West Metropolitan officers, PolAir, State Intelligence Command, other NSW Police specialist resources, and AFP officers – executed a search warrant at a home in Granville, where they arrested a 54-year-old woman.
The man was taken to Sutherland Police Station and charged with supply large commercial quantity prohibited drug.
The woman was taken to Granville Police Station and charged with recklessly deal with proceeds of general crime more than $100,000, and knowingly deal with the proceeds of crime.
Both were refused bail to appear at Sutherland and Parramatta Local Courts respectively today (Wednesday 30 August 2023). Both were formally bail refused to appear at Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday 26 October 2023.
Organised Crime Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Peter Faux, said investigations are continuing into the remaining members of the alleged syndicate.
“This three-year investigation is a great example of the persistence and dedication of detectives to dismantle a network trying to introduce illicit drugs into our society,” Det Supt Faux said.
“It’s understood a number of people involved in this syndicate may be offshore, as such we will continue to work with our partner agencies to identify and arrest them and put them before the court.
“It serves as a message to anyone who wishes to engage in such criminal behaviour – it does not matter if you are not on our shores, we will work with our national and international partners to target those who have a complete disregard for the safety of the NSW community.”
ACIC National Manager North Operations Dash Sivakumaran said the agency would continue to work with partners to prevent the importation and distribution of illicit drugs in Australia.
“The ACIC is uniquely positioned to assist partners like the New South Wales Police Force to disrupt serious and organised crime networks that are seeking to cause serious harm to the Australian community,” Mr Sivakumaran said.
“Methylamphetamine continues to be the highest risk illicit drug in Australia. Collaborative law enforcement efforts such as this, are essential to combatting criminal syndicates seeking to exploit the Australian market.”
AFP Detective Superintendent Kristie Cressy said the work of the AFP's International Network over the last three years on the matter had been crucial to the investigation and would continue.
"Only organised crime groups have the resources and international links to source and ship 100kg of meth into Australia, which is why it is critical we continue to actively target them," Det Supt Cressy said.
"The AFP will continue to liaise with overseas law enforcement partners to identify the source of these drugs, and obtain evidence that can be used in Australian court."
ABF A/g Commander Ian Kelly said this was yet another example of Australian law enforcement agencies working closely together to protect the Australian community from harm.
“Australia’s border is regularly targeted by serious organised crime groups, seeking to make profits from illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine,” A/g Commander Kelly said.
“The ABF, in collaboration with law enforcement partners, works hard to ensure that the border remains a hardened environment for criminals attempting to import illicit drugs. This outcome sends a clear message to criminal syndicates that ABF officers are fully committed to protecting our border and the Australian community.”
Investigations are ongoing.
Anyone with information regarding the importation or distribution of illicit drugs is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.