“However, what we have seen through this operation and other intelligence is that some members of [crime networks] are working collaboratively to bring drugs into our country.
“While the different methods of concealment aren’t new, it’s the level of involvement from various criminal syndicates to bring in shipments which is of note.”
Over the course of the investigation, police say they seized about 220 kilograms of methylamphetamine in Los Angeles, which was bound for Australia, as well as about 60 kilograms of cocaine in Sydney, believed to have been imported from Germany.
The cocaine was found inside pieces of machinery in a freight depot, along with $960,000 in cash, police said.
On Thursday morning, police said there were more people overseas to whom they wished to speak as part of their investigation.
Detectives from the State Crime Command, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission launched the investigation last year to target and disrupt serious organised crime in NSW.
They were joined by officers from Australian Border Force, the United States Homeland Security Investigations and other international law enforcement agencies.
Australian Federal Police Commander Kate Ferry said the force’s international network ensured the investigation maximised the damage inflicted on the syndicate.
“We see organised crime groups acting with impunity, believing that operating in multiple countries will protect them from police. They couldn’t be more wrong,” she said.
“These criminals undermine our national security and our economy. They make our suburbs and roads less safe. The way Australians live will be changed if illicit drug use is not greatly reduced and if these serious criminals are not brought to justice.”
As part of the operation, police executed 16 search warrants on Wednesday, across homes and businesses in western and southern Sydney.
Enzo Anthony Guarinoni, 33, was arrested at Picton and charged with nine offences, including supplying a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug. He was refused bail and will reappear at Picton Local Court on Thursday.
Nam Duc Nguyen-Le, 38, was arrested at Earlwood and charged with eight offences, including conspiracy to import a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug. He was refused bail and is to reappear at Burwood Local Court on January 18.
Vinh Sin Ouy, 44, who was arrested at Sefton, and James John Daniel, 41, who was arrested at a business in Wetherill Park, were charged with importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug and committing an offence for the benefit of an organisation. Ouy will appear at Bankstown Local Court on Thursday, while Daniel will appear at Liverpool Local Court.
Anthony Farhat, 30, who was arrested in Belfield, was also charged with drug import conspiracy and committing an offence for the benefit of an organisation. He will appear at Bankstown Local Court on Thursday, as will Haniteli Hui, 28, who was arrested on the Hume Highway and charged with supplying a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug.
In the US, officers arrested a 23-year-old man in Los Angeles and allegedly seized 98 kilograms of methylamphetamine, 55 kilograms of crystal MDMA, 18 kilograms of cocaine and about $US15,000 ($22,000).
The search warrants were executed in Picton, Earlwood, Hoxton Park, Belfield, Cabarita, Rockdale, Penshurst, Guildford, Greenacre, Smithfield, Fairfield, Liverpool and Wetherill Park on Wednesday.
Police also allegedly seized a rifle, ammunition, gold bullion, cigarettes, cocaine, MDMA, cannabis, steroids, electronic devices, cryptocurrency wallets and documents during the searches.
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