ALMOST $400 million worth of the destructive drug ‘ice’ has been seized during a major operation in Sydney.
Five hundreds kilograms of crystal meth was allegedly smuggled into the city in a shipping container last month.
It’s alleged six of the 10 pallets inside the container, labelled clothing, were found to contain 500 packages of meth.
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In a statement, NSW Police said the drugs have an estimated potential street value of $375 million.
Following extensive investigations, four men were arrested and charged during a coordinated joint operation in Sydney on Thursday.
A 35-year-old man was arrested while walking down the street at Wolli Creek just after 12pm, while a 55-year-old Canadian national was arrested at a shopping centre in Hurstville.
Two other men aged 33 and 26 were arrested at a home at Carlton and a unit at Rhodes.
While searching the addresses, officers allegedly seized mobile phones, electronic devices, documentation and more than $10,000 cash, adding to the already $200,000 cash seized during the investigation.
The men were charged with a range of offences, including supply prohibited drug (large commercial quantity), participate criminal group contribute criminal activity, and dealing with proceeds of crime.
Three of the men were remanded in custody overnight and due to appear in Sutherland Local Court today while the 36-year-old was released on bail to appear in Burwood Local Court next month.
Thursday’s operation stemmed from a 2018 investigation targeting an international drug supply network.
The investigation – dubbed Strike Force Fergerson – involved offices from NSW Police, and investigators from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, NSW Crime Commission and Western Australian Police Force.
The investigation was also assisted by Australian Border Force and Australian Federal Police.
State Crime Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith, said investigations are ongoing to determine the source of the drugs.
“This has been a complex, multi-layered investigation by strike force investigators who have been relentless in their pursuit of dismantling this particular syndicate with international links,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Smith said.
“We have disrupted their activities utilising covert and intelligence-based resources to identify locations and links and associations of syndicate members, but we are not naïve enough to think our job is done.
“The Organised Crime Squad and the entire NSW Police Force is focused on working with our partners on targeting the criminal networks who import, manufacture, and supply illicit drugs.
“This operation doesn’t stop with these arrests.
“We will be following every thread of information, with the assistance of our partners – both here in Australia and across the globe – and the community can be confident we will investigate, arrest and put people before the courts.”
Minister for Police, David Elliott MP, said he is committed to keeping these harmful drugs off the streets of NSW and will continue to support significant resources dedicated to tackling organised crime.
“This poison is destroying our state and I will support police who are out on the streets dealing with this, along with their emergency services partners, to help reduce any risk of harm to the people of NSW,” Minister Elliott said.
“The community benefits every time we take drugs out of the hands of criminals and this result is a further demonstration of the ability of law enforcement agencies.”
Joint investigations are continuing, and further arrests are expected.
You can report also information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via nsw.crimestoppers.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.