Eight people have been arrested after Police smashed an international drug syndicate with allegations airline crew members were bringing the drugs into the country.
Police allege the group is responsible for importing $20 million worth of heroin and methamphetamine from Malaysia.
Seven properties have been raided since the beginning of the year with Police seizing 6kg of heroin, 8kg methamphetamine and 0.5kg of cocaine.
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“We’ve estimated the heroin alone has a street value of $14.5 million which equates to 42,000 street deals,” Assistant Commissioner Walsh told reporters.
A number of vehicles were also seized including a Porsche Macan and a Mini Cooper along with a significant amount of cash.
“We’ve identified that the drugs were being brought into Australia via an international commerical airline with the cabin crew used as drug couriers.”
“Those couriers were entering Australia predominantly through Melbourne and Sydney.”
Newscorp reports a Malindo Air flight attendant was arrested at Melbourne Airport with 1kg of heroin allegedly in her luggage after arriving on a flight from Kuala Lumpur.
It also reports a Malaysia Airlines crew member was caught with 3.5kg of heroin in his jacket.
“The method of bringing these drugs into the country is of significant concern for a number of law enforcement agencies, not just Police,” Assistant Commissioner Walsh said.
Four women and four men were among those arrested with all eight fronting court already.
Six of those were refused bail and will remain behind bars until their next court appearance in May.
AFP Commander Amanda Kates said the operation was a great success and a strong example of the excellent cooperation between the State and Commonwealth law enforcement agencies.
“The arrest and dismantling of significant members of this criminal syndicate sends a strong message to international drug syndicates who choose to import and traffic such harmful drugs into Australia.”