$4.5 million worth of assets and $1 million worth of drugs seized in investigation targeting alleged drug syndicate

Wednesday, 10 April 2024 10:26:45 AM

PLEASE NOTE: NSWPF-branded vision of the items seized are available Hightail – https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/yf6iN8CWWL

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State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Squad and the NSW Crime Commission (NSWCC) have charged three men and seized $4 million in assets believed to be proceeds of crime under Strike Force Lavington.

Strike Force Lavington is a joint investigation targeting a high-profile drug syndicate run out of Harrington Park in Sydney’s Macarthur Region.

In August 2023, strike force detectives stopped a vehicle on the M1 at Brooklyn. During a search of the vehicle, police located and seized 70 grams of cocaine. The 66-year-old male driver was arrested and charged with drug supply related offences. He was refused bail and appeared in Hornsby Local Court on Monday 28 August 2023.

On Monday 25 September 2023, strike force detectives stopped a vehicle near Harrington Park, in which they located 14 grams of cocaine. The driver – a 49-year-old man – was arrested and charged with drug supply related offences. He was granted conditional bail and appeared at Campbelltown Local Court on Thursday 19 October 2023.

About 12.20pm the next day (Tuesday 26 September 2023), strike force detectives – with assistance from the Dog Squad – executed a search warrant in Harrington Park where they arrested a 47-year-old man.

During a search of the property, police located 100 grams of cocaine, 60 grams of methylamphetamine, $7200 cash, luxury watches worth over $400,000, and a Dodge Ram.

The man was taken to Narellan Police Station where he was charged with four counts of supply prohibited drug >indictable & <commercial quantity, recklessly deal with proceeds of crime >$5000 and fail to comply digital evidence access order direction.

He was refused bail and appeared at Picton Local Court on Wednesday 27 September 2023.

Following further inquiries into the alleged drug syndicate, throughout the day yesterday (Tuesday 9 April 2024), strike force detectives – with assistance from South West Metropolitan Operational Support Group – executed four search warrants in Harrington Park, Ingleburn, Abbotsbury and Bondi.

During the searches, police located and seized a Lamborghini worth $300,000, a VK Commodore Brock special edition racing car worth $500,000, and 1.3kg of methylamphetamine with a street value of $1 million.

With assistance from the NSWCC, police also froze $3.2 million dollars’ worth of property.

Commander of State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Squad, Detective Superintendent Peter Faux, said targeting assets is a key focus of the squad.

“We know money and wealth is one of the driving motivators for people who get involved in organised crime, which is why working with the NSW Crime Commission – and taking away those assets – is so effective,” Det Supt Faux said.

“Targeting and seizing assets is such an important part of our work because it enables us to completely disrupt the activity of alleged criminals and put the onus back on them to prove their goods have been legally obtained.”

Executive Director Operations of the NSW Crime Commission, Darren Bennett, said the NSWCC and NSWPF are determined to continue to track down and seize the proceeds of crime and ultimately return them to the people of NSW.

“Yesterday’s operational activity was the culmination of months of investigation into unexplained wealth held by people involved in organised crime,” Mr Bennett said.

“The raids today are only the start of the hard work, and a civil process will now commence, aimed at stripping alleged criminals of their wealth that we can establish has been illegally obtained.

“Together we have numerous ongoing investigations on foot aimed at taking unexplained wealth from criminals and the public should expect to see many more operations of this type in the coming months. It’s another good day for the hard-working taxpayers of NSW.”

Anyone with information that may assist investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.