Drug and Firearms Squad detectives have charged four people and seized an estimated $6 million dollars in Sydney’s south west.
In February 2017, detectives from the State Crime Command’s Drug and Firearms Squad established Strike Force Mindarie to investigate the activities of an organised crime group operating across Sydney’s inner west and south west.
As part of the ongoing investigation, with assistance from Australian Border Force, strike force investigators conducted inquiries into illegal tobacco distribution and money-laundering.
Following extensive inquiries, detectives executed five criminal organisation search warrants at homes in Belmore, Lakemba, Marrickville, Bardwell Valley, and Campsie from 7am yesterday (Wednesday 4 December 2019).
During the searches, police found an estimated $6 million cash concealed in kitchen cupboards in the Belmore home.
Electronic storage devices and 400 cartons of tobacco, worth an estimated $80,000, was also seized.
Three men – aged 40, 50 and 57 – and a 45-year-old woman were arrested during the operation and taken to Campsie Police Station.
The 50-year-old man was charged with deal in proceeds of crime, money/property (more than $1,000,000), conspire to cause loss, knowingly direct activities of criminal group, and knowingly deal with proceeds of crime.
He was refused bail to appear at Burwood Local Court today (Thursday 5 December 2019).
The 57-year-old man was charged with deal in proceeds of crime, money/property (more than $1,000,000), conspire to cause loss, and participate criminal group contribute criminal activity.
The 40-year-old man was charged to participate criminal group contribute criminal activity.
The 45-year-old woman was charged with deal in proceeds of crime, money/property (more than $1,000,000), conspire to cause loss, participate criminal group contribute criminal activity, and convey tobacco products know of intent defraud revenue.
Police will allege in court that the group were involved in the supply of tobacco and in doing so have avoided $1.8 million of duty tax.
The trio were all granted strict conditional bail to appear at Burwood Local Court on Tuesday 21 January 2020.
Investigations under Strike Force Mindarie are continuing, and further arrests are expected.
Anyone with information about in relation to the manufacture and supply of prohibited drugs is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.