Organised Crime Squad detectives have charged three people as part of ongoing investigations into the alleged importation of a half a tonne of cocaine with a street value of nearly $155 million.
Acting on intelligence information, officers from Australian Border Force (ABF) intercepted a consignment of toolboxes which arrived in Sydney from the United Kingdom about 7pm last Saturday (15 May 2021).
During a subsequent deconstruction, the consignment was found to contain 514kg of compacted white powder concealed within the steel boxes.
The powder was tested and returned a presumptive positive result for cocaine, which has an estimated potential street value of $154.2 million.
An investigation was subsequently commenced by detectives from the State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Squad under Strike Force Coact, who conducted a controlled delivery.
Detectives were also assisted throughout the investigation by officers from the NSW Crime Commission (NSWCC) and Australian Federal Police (AFP).
Following extensive investigations, detectives stopped a van on Banksia Street, Botany, about 10.50am yesterday (Tuesday 18 May 2021).
As officers approached the van, the female driver allegedly reversed the vehicle at speed before the male passenger ran from the vehicle and threw a backpack into a nearby yard.
Police gave chase on foot and arrested the 26-year-old man a short distance away.
The 33-year-old woman was arrested before officers retrieved the backpack, which was searched along with their vehicle and an unattended truck parked at Pagewood.
The Collaroy woman was taken to Mascot Police Station and charged with large commercial drug supply and use offensive weapon in company to prevent detention.
The Dee Why man was taken to hospital for treatment to a minor leg injury, before being taken to Mascot Police Station, where he was charged with large commercial drug supply.
The pair was refused bail to appear at Central Local Court today (Wednesday 19 May 2021).
Following further inquiries, Strike Force Coact detectives arrested a 28-year-old man during a vehicle stop on Williamson Drive, Macquarie Fields, about 5pm.
A short time later, investigators also executed a search warrant at a home at Minto.
The Minto man was taken to Campbelltown Police Station, where he was charged with large commercial drug supply.
Police will allege in court that the man collected the consignment from Matraville and delivered it to Pagewood, before leaving the area.
He was also refused bail to appear at Campbelltown Local Court today.
Investigations under Strike Force Coact are continuing.
Anyone with information relating to the importation or supply of illicit drugs is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.