Police lay charges after seven-year investigation into drug importations – Strike Force Millstream

Organised Crime Squad detectives have laid charges against three men and are seeking the extradition of two others from Dubai, following an extensive seven-year investigation into a transnational criminal syndicate involved in the large-scale importation and supply of prohibited drugs.

In December 2013, detectives from the State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Squad, together with the NSW Crime Commission, established Strike Force Millstream to investigate the large-scale supply of prohibited drugs, mainly MDMA and methylamphetamine (ice), in NSW.

During the course of the investigation, detectives uncovered a significant transnational drug importation and money laundering operation as well as other organised criminal activity.

Strike Force Millstream investigators have previously charged 16 people over their alleged roles in illicit activities.

Following extensive inquiries, detectives applied for arrest warrants for two men, who were known to be living overseas, for commercial drug importation.

The warrants were granted in January this year, before Interpol Red Notices were issued earlier this month.

Last Thursday (11 June 2020), Dubai Police arrested the men – aged 34 and 37 – in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, pursuant to Interpol Red Notices.

Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Squad are working with international law enforcement and Commonwealth partner agencies to seek the extradition of the men to Australia.

Following further investigations, Strike Force Millstream detectives executed a search warrant at a home at Baulkham Hills and crime scene warrants at two business premises at Badgerys Creek from 7am today (Tuesday 16 June 2020).

A NSW Crime Commission Criminal Assets Recovery Act search warrant was also executed at a business at Altair Place, Jamisontown.

Detectives were assisted throughout the operation by officers from the Public Order and Riot Squad, North West Metropolitan Region Enforcement Squad, the Dog Unit, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, the Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit and Australian Border Force (ABF) investigators.

During the searches, investigators seized documentation and other items relevant to the investigation.

A 34-year-old man was arrested at Muswellbrook Police Station and charged with two counts of supply prohibited drug (large commercial quantity), knowingly deal with proceeds of crime and participate in criminal group contribute criminal activity.

Police will allege in court that the man was involved in the supply of more than 12kg of MDMA and 7kg of methylamphetamine across NSW. It will be further alleged he dealt with $3 million as the proceeds of crime.

The man remains in custody and is due to appear at Newcastle Local Court via AVL today.

A 36-year-old Erina Heights man was arrested at a hotel at Darling Harbour and taken to Day Street Police Station.

He was charged with two counts of supply prohibited drug (large commercial quantity), knowingly deal with proceeds of crime and knowingly direct activities of a criminal group.

Police will allege in court that the man was involved in the supply of more than 20kg of MDMA and 3kg of methylamphetamine across NSW. It will be further alleged he dealt with $4.6 million as the proceeds of crime.

He was refused bail to appear at Central Local Court today.

A 57-year-old man was arrested at a home at Baulkham Hills and taken to Castle Hill Police Station.

He was charged with conspiracy to commit offence import commercial quantity of border-controlled drug. The man was refused bail to appear at Liverpool Local Court today.

Organised Crime Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Martin Fileman, said the resolution of Strike Force Millstream ends one of the squad’s longest running drug importation investigations.

“For nearly seven years, our detectives have been working to identify individuals involved in this alleged criminal enterprise responsible for organising and facilitating large-scale drug importations into Australia,” Det Supt Fileman said.

“Throughout the investigation, officers identified a transnational organised crime syndicate involved in facilitating the importation of more than 2.87 tonnes of MDMA and methylamphetamine – with an estimated potential street value of more than $150 million.

“Police will allege members of the syndicate dealt with proceeds of crime worth more than $54 million, allowing them to travel the world in luxury and live a life of opulence – while they knowingly preyed on the vulnerabilities of others.

“Charges under Strike Force Millstream could not have been achieved without the ongoing assistance, dedication and commitment of our partner agencies here in Australia and that of our law enforcement colleagues around the world.

“Organised Crime Squad detectives, and the wider NSW Police Force, wish to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude to everyone that helped us reach this point in the investigation.

“We also wish to highlight the work of Dubai Police who assisted in the arrest of two international fugitives – who are key players in this investigation – in the United Arab Emirates last week,” Det Supt Fileman said.

Since the inception of Strike Force Millstream, Organised Crime Squad detectives have had significant assistance from law enforcement agencies including;

  • Australian Border Force
  • Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission
  • Australian Federal Police
  • Australian Federal Police International Command (Liaison Officers in UAE and United Kingdom)
  • Dubai Police
  • Hamburg Customs Investigation Office (Germany)
  • Interpol (Abdu Dhabi and ACT)
  • Northamptonshire Police
  • National Investigation Department (The Netherlands)
  • Republic of Moldova; Law Enforcement
  • South Australia Police
  • Spanish Guardia Civil (Judical Police Unit, Central Operations Unit, Money Laundering Group)
  • U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency
  • U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation

Investigations under Strike Force Millstream are continuing.

Anyone with information about the importation or 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.

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