$28 MILLION DRUGS BUST – Saturday March 23 2013

– A major international crime syndicate has been smashed, with police seizing drugs valued at $28 million and arresting 27 people.
The joint operation between Victoria and Australian Federal Police – codenamed Volante – netted 42 kilograms of the drug ice, property worth $5 million, $4 million in cash, $600,000 in Crown casino chips, a Lamborghini sports car, 99 designer handbags worth $150,000 and a stash of jewellery – a total haul of some $38 million.
Police made the arrests as they raided 37 properties.
This week police charged six key figures of the South-East Asian crime gang: a 49-year-old Tarneit man, a 48-year-old Balwyn man, a 58-year-old Box Hill man, a 46-year-old Macleod woman, a 37-year-old Clayton South man and a 21-year-old Sunshine North man.
Commander David Sharpe, AFP manager of serious and organised crimes, said the operation would have a significant impact . “This investigation was about following the money trail, removing the wealth and cutting off the distribution networks in Australia,” Commander Sharpe said.
“This operation will have a significant impact on the syndicate internationally and shows just how successful joint partnerships are in combating organised crime groups targeting Australia.”
Operation Volante, which began in April, targeted the trafficking of large quantities of drugs into Australia.
Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Stephen Fontana said ice had become increasingly available on the streets of Victoria.
“The dismantling of this organised crime syndicate will dramatically affect that availability,” he said.
Police worked with agencies in China, Macau, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Hong Kong to target the syndicate.
Commander Sharpe said the gang was living like rock stars. He added: “It’s personally quite satisfying when you see these people, who had been living this kind of lifestyle, in tears when the handcuffs go on and their Lamborghinis are towed away.”
He warned that further arrests were expected.
“This has been a very successful operation and we’ll continue to aggressively target these high-level syndicates – take them out at the top, follow the money trail and target them wherever they are,” he said – Jon Kaila


About Jumpin' Jack Cash

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