Four men have been charged following a joint agency investigation into the importation of more than 150 kilograms of heroin into Sydney via air cargo from Malaysia.
On Sunday 6 January 2019, a consignment purporting to be gym equipment and supplements arrived in Sydney from Malaysia.
The consignment, which was found to contain various handicraft items and timber souvenirs, was x-rayed by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers, who noted anomalies in the packed crates.
During a subsequent deconstruction of the consignment, 400 blocks of heroin with a total weight of 154 kilograms were located concealed in three of four crates.
The heroin has an estimated potential street value of more than $77 million.
Investigators from NSW Police Force (NSWPF) Organised Crime Squad, Australian Border Force (ABF), NSW Crime Commission (NSWCC) and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) established Strike Force Roath to investigate the import.
Following further inquiries, strike force investigators conducted a controlled delivery to a home at Arncliffe on Wednesday (23 January 2019).
The consignment was allegedly accessed by a 31-year-old man yesterday (Thursday 24 January 2019), before being split and on-supplied to a 26-year-old man and a 29-year-old man.
A short time later, strike force detectives arrested the 31-year-old man at Chippendale, the 23-year-old man at Strathfield, and the 29-year-old man at Condell Park.
A fourth man, aged 26, was arrested at Newcastle.
Following the arrests, police executed six search warrants at homes at Arncliffe, Burwood Chippendale, Croydon Park, and Lidcombe.
During the searches, police seized a further 7.5kg of heroin, 35kg of methylamphetamine (ice), more than $200,000 cash, a money counter, safes, heat sealers, scales, drug paraphernalia, knuckle dusters, computers, electronic items, mobile phones, and financial documents.
The ice has an estimated potential street value of more than $26 million.
In total, police have seized drugs with a total estimated potential street value of more than $107 million.
The 23-year-old Lidcombe man was charged with two counts of commercial drug supply, knowingly deal with proceeds of crime, knowingly direct activities of criminal group, and participate criminal group contribute criminal activity.
The 26-year-old Lidcombe man was charged with three counts of large commercial drug supply, knowingly direct activities of criminal group, and participate criminal group contribute criminal activity
The 29-year-old Croydon Park man was charged with large commercial drug supply.
The 31-year-old Chippendale man was charged with possess commercial quantity unlawful import and participate criminal group contribute criminal activity.
All four men were refused bail to appear at local courts today (Friday 25 January 2019).
Investigations are continuing both here and abroad.
Editor’s Note: Vision and stills of the Chippendale arrest and the Arncliffe search warrant and stills of seized items will be available via Hightail later today.