Fifth person charged by Operation PHOBETOR after seizure of 1100 litres of pseudoephedrine

Operation PHOBETOR detectives have charged a fifth person following the seizure of more than 1100 litres of pseudoephedrine, following an investigation into the importation of prohibited drugs into New South Wales.

Earlier this year, detectives from the NSW Police Force’s State Crime Command, the Australian Federal Police (AFP), and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), established Operation PHOBETOR to target and disrupt serious organised crime in NSW.

Their inquiries uncovered a criminal syndicate involved in the importation, storage and supply of illicit drugs, and a storage facility in Prospect which contained 1125 litres of pseudoephedrine which was subsequently seized by police.

Further investigations by Operation PHOBETOR revealed the syndicate was allegedly involved in a previous importation of 295kg of methylamphetamine – with an estimated street value of $184 million – concealed within an excavator sent from Hong Kong.

Four men – aged 25, 26, 29 and 30 – have previously been charged over their alleged involvement in the syndicate and remain before the courts.

Following further inquiries, Operation PHOBETOR detectives attended a correctional centre at Silverwater about 9am yesterday (Wednesday 1 December 2021) and arrested a 26-year-old man.

He was taken into custody and charged with two counts supply prohibited drug more than large commercial quantity, two counts participate criminal group contribute criminal activity, take part supply prohibited drug more than large commercial quantity, and possess identity info to commit indictable offence.

The Prospect man was refused bail and will appear today (Thursday 2 December 2021) at Central Local Court.

Investigations under Operation PHOBETOR are continuing.

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