JOINT: Search warrants executed after more than $140 million worth of MDMA and cocaine intercepted from Spain

A joint-agency investigation has commenced after MDMA and cocaine worth more than $140 million was intercepted by law enforcement at the border.

On 7 May 2019, Australian Border Force (ABF) officers at the Sydney Container Examination Facility targeted a sea cargo container which had recently arrived from Spain after a BorderWatch referral.

The container, which was declared to contain shampoo, was taken to the ABF’s Sydney Container Examination Facility for x-ray and officers noted inconsistencies.

The consignment was deconstructed and found to contain 258 boxes. 49 of the boxes were found to contain bags of a brown crystalline substance and blocks of a white powder, with presumptive testing returning a positive indicator for MDMA and cocaine.

Forensic analysis determined the packages contained a total of 312kg of cocaine, which has an estimated potential street value of $93.6 million, and 236kg of MDMA, which has an estimated potential street value of $47.2 million.

Detectives from the NSW Police Force’s Organised Crime Squad, ABF investigators and the NSW Crime Commission, with assistance from the Australian Federal Police, established Strike Force Bresnahan to investigate the import.

Following extensive inquiries, strike force detectives executed seven search warrants at storage facilities in Cromer, Brookvale, Chatswood, Artarmon, and Macquarie Park yesterday (Monday 27 May 2019), where they seized items relevant to the investigation.

A 33-year-old man was arrested outside a Cromer storage unit about 10am yesterday.

He was taken to Manly Police Station and charged with two counts of possess prohibited drug.

The Rutherford man has been granted conditional bail to appear at Manly Local Court on Monday 8 July 2019.

Investigations under Strike Force Bresnahan continue.

Anyone with information about the importation of illicit drugs is encouraged to report it to BorderWatch by visiting australia.gov.au/borderwatch.

Information with information in relation to organised criminal activity is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/

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