Australia: $150 million worth of drugs allegedly concealed in machinery: police

When the consignment arrived at Sydney Airport last month, Border Force was suspicious.

Police allege they were right to be; investigators claim that the consignment of machinery actually contained more than 230 kilograms of ice and cocaine, worth an eye-watering $150 million.

Investigators undertook a controlled delivery of the machinery to a business in Prestons in Sydney’s south-west last weekend.

“Later that day, two men – aged 21 and 22 – were arrested as they allegedly attempted to access the consignment with an angle grinder,” NSW Police said in a statement on Saturday.

The two men were both charged with possessing a commercial quantity of a suspected border control drug and possessing a marketable quantity of a suspected border-controlled drug, being 230kg of ice and 1.2kg of cocaine.

“Both men were refused bail and appeared at Parramatta Bail Court the following day, where they were formally refused bail to reappear at the same court on Thursday 25 August 2022,” police said.

On Thursday this week, the riot squad raided a hotel at Cabramatta in Sydney’s south-west and a nearby business and seized electronics and cash.

A 41-year-old man was arrested and charged with importing a commercial quantity of border-controlled drug and importing a marketable quantity of a border-controlled drug.

He was refused bail in Fairfield Local Court on Friday.

The organised crime squad’s Commander Detective Superintendent Rob Critchlow said the arrest was made possible by work done by police’s international counterparts.

“[This] means we can easily identify and dismantle these types of syndicates regardless of where the drugs originated,” he said.

“We’ll continue to work closely and slash the profits of those involved in organised criminal activity, putting those responsible before a court and preventing these harmful drugs from reaching our borders.”

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