three charged over $100m bust

  1. 6,931 Posts.
    I have to say I am impressed by the Australian authorities and their success at nabbing these big drug dealers. It seems that there are frequent busts. I wonder if it has something to do with cleaning up Police forces in Oz.



    Three charged over $100m bust
    October 22, 2004

    THREE men have been charged after $100 million worth of drugs were found inside hollowed-out candles in a ship from China.


    Bust ... AFP and customs officers seized 125kg of ice.


    A haul of 125kg of crystalline methylamphetamine, or ice, was the second largest seizure of the drug to be made in Australia, the Australian Federal Police said today.

    Three men, aged 38, 41 and 42, will face Central Local Court this morning charged with importing a prohibited import and attempting to possess a prohibited import.

    The joint operation between the Australian Customs Service and the AFP is believed to have dismantled the Australian base of an international narcotic smuggling syndicate.

    AFP officers arrested two of the men yesterday at a storage facility in Homebush, in Sydney's west, and one at a hotel near Chinatown.

    The 624 candles, each containing 200 grams of ice, were seized from a shipment container aboard the Kota Sejati which unloaded at Port Botany on October 9.

    Australian Customs regional director for New South Wales, David Collins, said the outcome of the operation was "very satisfying".

    "This latest seizure of 125kg of ice is another great outcome for the Australian community," Mr Collins said.

    AFP agent David Stewart said the seizure had a street value of $100 million and cancelled 1.25 million potential street deals.

    "This is an example of how the AFP and its members continue in detecting and dismantling organised crime syndicates," Mr Stewart said.

    "At this stage we are very confident that the three people who have been arrested are the principal people involved," he said.

    "I think it's sending a powerful message from Australia's perspective."

    Australia's largest detection of ice was made in Sydney in May 2003, when 233kg of the drug was found hidden among cartons of rice sticks in a shipping container from China.

    Federal Minister for Justice and Customs Senator Chris Ellison later praised Customs and the AFP for their work in protecting Australia from the supply of illegal drugs.

    "This joint effort by Customs and AFP has stopped a large quantity of potentially lethal drugs from reaching Australian streets," he said in a statement.

    "Our agencies deserve our thanks and congratulations for their professionalism and persistence in disrupting alleged drug traffickers in their sophisticated attempts to breach Australia's borders.

    "The Australian government will maintain our tough and well resourced approach in the fight against criminal elements bent on wrecking our society and the lives of Australians for selfish monetary gain."
 
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