Sixth man charged in investigation into NSW drug trafficking syndicate

hand holding handcuffs

This is a joint media release between Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force and NSW Police Force

A Cartwright man has been charged over his alleged involvement in an organised crime syndicate responsible for the importation of one tonne of MDMA into New South Wales earlier this year.

The Australian Federal Police will allege the 23-year-old man was the lessee of a premises in Cabramatta that was used by an alleged crime syndicate as a ‘safe house’ to store drugs, cash and firearms.

Police arrested the man at his Cartwright home yesterday (Friday, 12 June 2020), where they seized mobile phones, as well as scales and sealable bags covered with what is suspected to be drug residue.

The man was refused police bail and is expected to face Parramatta Local Court today (Saturday, 13 June 2020) charged with 10 offences:

  • One count of aid and abet dealing with money which is the proceeds of crime, greater than $100,000, contrary to section 11.2 and 400.4 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • Three counts of aid and abet possession of a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug (MDMA, methamphetamine, cocaine), contrary to section 10(1) of the Drug Misuse & Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW);
  • Three counts of aid and abet supply of a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug (MDMA, methamphetamine, cocaine), contrary to section 25(1) of the Drug Misuse & Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW)
  • Two counts of aid and abet possession of prohibited firearm (automatic shotgun and pistol), without being authorised by licence or permit, contrary to section 7(1) of the Firearms Act 1996 (NSW)
  • One count of aid and abet possession of ammunition, without being authorised by licence or permit, contrary to section 65(3) of the Firearms Act 1996 (NSW).

He is the sixth person to be charged as part of the investigation into the importation and intended distribution of more than one tonne of MDMA, following a joint investigation by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) Eastern Command, Australian Border Force (ABF) and NSW Police Force.

The MDMA was seized after ABF officers detected anomalies within a shipping container that arrived from South Korea on 11 January 2020.

An examination by the ABF found a number of pallets laden with 648 plastic tubs labeled as tile adhesive.

Within 176 tubs of adhesive were bags of a powder that presumptively tested positive to the presence of MDMA.

Each tub contained approximately six kilograms of MDMA powder. The total weight of the substance seized from the shipment was 1,053kg.

The drugs were removed by police and substituted for delivery of the consignment.

In March, five men were arrested after search warrants were executed at several properties across Sydney.

Police seized the substituted MDMA and other drugs including cocaine and methamphetamine during the operational activity.

They also found an estimated $250,000 in cash, two loaded firearms – including an automatic shotgun with a drum magazine and a Browning 9mm semi-automatic pistol – false identification material and ammunition in Cabramatta and West Cabramatta.

The five men arrested in March have been charged with a range of offences and are still before the courts.

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