SYDNEY,23 MARCH 2017 (SMH)— Three men have been arrested in Sydney and two in China after police thwarted an alleged plot to import more than $100 million (US$76 million) worth of ice from China.
The five have been charged over the alleged seizure of 101 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine in China’s Guangdong province recently.
The drugs were intercepted at Yantian Port in Shenzhen after police received a tip-off that they were concealed in the floor of a shipping container bound for Sydney.
Authorities removed the drugs before sending the container, carrying a consignment of two tonnes of steel, on its way.
Once it arrived in Sydney, police watched closely as it was delivered to an address in Revesby.
A 22-year-old Fijian national was arrested after he allegedly received the consignment.
“Safe to say he was very surprised, as all the people we arrest these days are.
“They don’t expect law enforcement to come knocking on their door,” Australian Federal Police Detective acting Superintendent Luke Needham told reporters on Monday.
The three men arrested in Sydney were the Fijian national, a 38-year-old Australian man and a 42-year-old Hong Kong resident.
Superintendent Needham said it would be alleged one of the men was an organiser while the other two were “unpackers”.
NSW Organised Crime Squad commander Detective Superintendent Scott Cook said there was no doubt crime groups from all over the world had made inroads into Australia’s drug market.
“We live now in a transnational global environment so it is a real challenge for us as law enforcement,” he said.
Aside from drugs, the “end game” for these organised crime groups was money, he added.
“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what the commodity is,” Superintendent Cook said.
“Drugs provide a significant source of revenue for these groups but it’s not just limited to drugs.
“It’s all about the money, we shouldn’t forget that.”
The drug bust followed a joint operation between Australian Federal Police, NSW Police, the Australian Border Force, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and Chinese authorities.
The three men arrested in Sydney are scheduled to appear in Central Local Court on April 26…..PACNEWS [/restrict]