DRUG RING ARRESTS – Thursday April 11 2013

– A middle-aged woman living in an affluent Melbourne suburb is alleged to be the mastermind of an international drug ring police say tried to smuggle in drugs worth more than $200 million.
The Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police were watching as a methamphetamine haul was delivered on Monday. They made two arrests and searched homes in Kew, Box Hill, Clayton South, Footscray and Noble Park.
More warrants were executed in Narre Warren yesterday and police are tracking other suspects across the nation and overseas.
A Hong Kong national, 45, from Kew, is suspected of being the hey organiser in importing 280kg of pure methamphetamine with a street price of $205 million.
Police say the methamphetamine was found in a 6 metre container, suspended in liquid within 96 bottles of carpet cleaner stained and hidden among 3332 identical bottles.
The AFP confirmed it had arrested a 45-year-old Hong Kong national, and a 31-year-old Canadian national from Footscray in relation to the seizure.
Both face a possible maximum penalty of life imprisonment if convicted of importing a commercial quantity of drugs.
Another man, 45, was taken into custody and questioned yesterday.
In mid-March, before the shop left Hong Kong, Australian Customs officials assessed the ship’s cargo and marked the consignment for examination.
Australian Crime Commission intelligence led to the container being labelled a high risk before it entered Melbourne’s docks.
A joint taskforce was formed involving the AFP, Victoria Police and Australian Customs and Border Protection.
A search uncovered the illicit substance, triggering what was described as a fast and dynamic operation that resulted in arrests being made within 48 hours.
The ACC’s national manager (intervention) Warren Gray said it had been able to quickly provide intelligence.
“The ACC tracks the footprint of organised crime in their communications and their finance. This is the new DNA for us,” he said.
Mr Gray claimed the group had been the target of the current operation was in the higher echelon of threats to Australia.
Mr Gray said crime groups with ethnic lines were operating in Canada and in Australia.
Victoria Police Detective Superintendent Gerry Ryan said the operation had been an example of agencies working together in the state, national and international arena.
Customs spokesman Andrew Redman said his agency was alert to the increasingly sophisticated ways in which criminals were concealing dangerous drugs in their attempts to evade detection – Anthony Dowsley


About Jumpin' Jack Cash

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