“While the various methods of concealment are not new, it is the level of involvement of various criminal syndicates in bringing in shipments that is important.”
During the investigation, police say they seized about 220kg of methylamphetamine in Los Angeles, which was bound for Australia, as well as about 60kg of cocaine in Sydney, believed to have been imported from Germany.
The cocaine was found inside machinery at a freight depot along with $960,000 in cash, police said.
Detectives from the State Crime Command, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission launched the investigation last year to target and disrupt serious organized crime in NSW.
They were joined by officers from the Australian Border Force, United States Homeland Security Investigations and other international law enforcement agencies.
Australian Federal Police Commissioner Kate Ferry said the force’s international network ensured the investigation maximized damage to the syndicate.
“We see organized crime groups acting with impunity and believe that operating in multiple countries will protect them from the police. They couldn’t be more wrong,” she said.
“These criminals are undermining our national security and our economy. They are making our suburbs and roads less safe. The way Australians live will change if illicit drug use is not drastically reduced and if these serious criminals are not brought to justice. “
As part of the operation, police executed 16 search warrants across homes and businesses in western and southern Sydney on Wednesday.
Enzo Anthony Guarinoni, 33, was arrested in Picton and charged with nine offences, including supplying a commercial quantity of a prohibited substance. He was refused bail and will appear again in Picton Local Court on Thursday.
Nam Duc Nguyen-Le, 38, was arrested in Earlwood and charged with eight offences, including conspiracy to import a commercial quantity of a border controlled substance. He was refused bail and is due to reappear at Burwood Local Court on January 18.
Vinh Sin Ouy, 44, who was arrested in Sefton, and James John Daniel, 41, who was arrested at a business in Wetherill Park, were charged with importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled substance and committing an offense for the benefit of an organization . Ouy will appear in Bankstown Local Court on Thursday, while Daniel will appear in Liverpool Local Court.
Anthony Farhat, 30, who was arrested in Belfield, was also charged with drug importation conspiracy and committing an offense for the benefit of an organisation. He will appear at Bankstown Local Court on Thursday, as will Haniteli Hui, 28, who was arrested on the Hume Highway and charged with supplying a commercial quantity of a prohibited substance.
In the US, officers arrested a 23-year-old man in Los Angeles and allegedly seized 98kg of methylamphetamine, 55kg of crystal MDMA, 18kg of cocaine and about US$15,000 ($22,000).
Searches were carried out in Picton, Earlwood, Hoxton Park, Belfield, Cabarita, Rockdale, Penshurst, Guildford, Greenacre, Smithfield, Fairfield, Liverpool and Wetherill Park on Wednesday.
Police also reportedly seized a rifle, ammunition, gold bars, cigarettes, cocaine, MDMA, cannabis, steroids, electronic devices, cryptocurrency wallets and documents during the searches.
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