Five arrested in joint FBI and NSW Police drug trafficking investigation

A US businessman will be extradited to Australia as part of an international investigation into drug trafficking and money laundering.

The 33-year-old was arrested by the FBI on a golf course in San Diego at the same time four men were arrested by Australian police.

A high-profile music promoter, a Sydney solicitor and a known crime figure are among the five arrested.


Music identity Andrew McManus, 54, was arrested at Melbourne airport last night, following the arrests in Sydney of crime figure Craig Haeusler, Kings Cross solicitor Michael Croke and Auburn pastry shop owner Zeki Atilgan.

The investigation was launched after police seized more than $700,000 from a man at a Sydney hotel in 2011.

NSW Police faced legal action for the return of the money, with a claim being made that it was payment for an international band who had toured Australia, but the case was thrown out of the Supreme Court and investigations continued.

Last year, New South Wales and Victoria police raided five properties, seizing more than $68,000 in cash and steroids.

Detectives say they also uncovered the importation of 300 kilograms of cocaine from Mexico to Australia, via the United States.

Subsequent searches at a home in Kellyville, in Sydney’s north-west, uncovered cash, steroids and cannabis.

“The commitment made by the detectives and others involved in this investigation has been outstanding — they never lost focus on the job at hand,” commander of the Organised Crime Squad, Detective Superintendent Scott Cook, said in a statement.

“As recent investigations have shown, it is now clear that organised syndicates impacting NSW are often transnational in nature.

“Whilst this presents us with challenges, those who undertake these activities need to understand that being outside the jurisdiction will not save you.”

The five men are facing a string of charges ranging from perverting the course of justice to drug supply.