Two Sydney men imported over 314 kilos of heroin

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Two men from Sydney – including a man whom the Australian Federal Police say is one of the country’s top organized crime threats – have been charged with major drug offenses.

A 38-year-old man designated as an Australian Priority Establishment Target (APOT) allegedly conspired with another 41-year-old man, using encrypted communication platforms, including AN0M, to import approximately 314 kilograms of heroin from Thailand to Australia.

Both men were indicted this evening (November 18, 2021) following the execution of search warrants at homes in Edensor Park and Cambridge Park.

During the search warrant, police confiscated a large number of items that will be the subject of further forensic investigation.

AFP will claim that the Edensor Park man, 38, and the Cambridge Park man, 41, used encrypted communication to plan their heroin import.

Detainees are expected to appear in court tomorrow (November 19, 2021).

The Edensor Park man is accused of:

Conspiracy to import a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug, namely heroin, into Australia in violation of section 307.1(1) under section 11.5(1) of the Penal Code (Cth); The unauthorized possession of two prohibited weapons, a knuckle and a butterfly knife, in violation of section 7 of the 1998 Gun Prohibition Act (NSW); 25(1) of the Drug Abuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW). and failing to comply with a court order under section 3LA(2) of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) contrary to section 3LA(5) of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth);

The maximum penalty for these crimes is life imprisonment, 14 years imprisonment, 10 years imprisonment and five years imprisonment.

The Cambridge Park officer is charged with conspiracy to import a commercial quantity of heroin into Australia, in violation of section 307.1(1) of the Penal Code (Cth) under section 11.5(1).

The maximum penalty for this crime is life imprisonment.

As part of Operation Ironside, investigators issued a search warrant at the Cambridge Park man’s home on June 6, 2021. Several encrypted communication devices were confiscated during the search warrant.

On July 5, 2021, Thai Customs inspected a sea cargo container bound for Queensland, leading to the discovery of 314 kilograms of heroin.

Heroin is allegedly hidden inside 135 of the 270 paint cans in the container. It was hidden in yellow box-shaped objects, wrapped in plastic wrapping tape. Each object contained inside the barrels weighed about 2.4 kilograms.

On July 16, 2021, AFP issued a search warrant at a residence in Pyrmont associated with the 38-year-old man. Police confiscated several encrypted communication devices, a knuckle wiper, a butterfly knife and a small amount of MDMA.

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) has been able to provide intelligence in this regard, highlighting the importance of the APOT network. This provided AFP with opportunities to further targeting APOT organization members.

AFP will argue in court that evidence gathered during the Sydney search warrants shows that the Thai heroin seizure, with an estimated street value of $117 million, was an import orchestrated by two Sydney men.

A thorough examination of communications on encrypted devices used by the men over the past eight months will allegedly allow AFP investigators to confirm their true identity and link them to criminal offenses linked to the import attempt.

AFP Deputy Commissioner Eastern Command Kirsty Schofield said the Australian Priority Organization Targets include individuals and unions classified by the ACIC as the country’s top crime threats.

“Most of the APOTs have sailed offshore, but over the past two years, AFP has worked with overseas law enforcement to detain one of these priority targets and has also taken coordinated action against two other targets – and their organizations – targeting Australia with large-scale or frequent drug imports. ability to receive,” he said.

“AFP leverages its key overseas networks and partnerships to reach these serious criminals who trade tons of drugs to Australia each year. One by one, AFP and its partners will build intelligence and evidence against these criminals and bring them to justice.

“Serious transnational organized crime continues to attempt to ship heroin across our borders to monetize the misery they market. AFP and its law enforcement partners in Australia and overseas will continue to disrupt the activities of criminal groups operating across international borders and provide protection for this harmful detriment of our society. from substances

“Recent ACIC wastewater reports point to continued high heroin consumption in Victoria’s capital areas and NSW regional areas.

“The popularity of heroin may not be as pronounced as methamphetamine or cocaine, but even small doses of heroin can have a deadly effect on vulnerable Australians.”

ACIC A/g Executive Director of Intelligence Operations, Robert Jackson, said that the outcome of this operation once again underlines the importance of a joint agency approach in combating organized crime and preventing drugs from causing further harm to our society.

“We continue to coordinate operational activities with AFP and our national and international partner agencies to cause maximum global and local disruption to APOT networks. Over the past year, the APOT strategy has continued to see significant collaboration.

between law enforcement and offshore partners,” he said.

Mr Wichai Chaimongkhon, Secretary General of the Thailand Narcotics Control Board Office, said: “We are pleased to work with AFP on this investigation and to come to a conclusion that distorts a transnational organized crime group that is using and exploiting both of our countries for their own profit.”

Taskforce Storm is a joint operational agreement between the Australian Federal Police and law enforcement agencies in Thailand – the Office of the Narcotics Control Board, the Royal Thai Police, the Special Investigation Department and the Anti-Money Laundering Office. Taskforce Storm brings together joint investigations and intelligence exchange to combat transnational organized crime, including drug trafficking, money laundering, firearms trafficking and serious fraud.

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