Man charged after joint operation intercepts alleged drug importation syndicate

Friday, 27 August 2021 04:15:10 AM

A joint-agency police investigation has resulted in the seizure of approximately 35kg of pseudoephedrine worth an estimated $1.4 million in Sydney’s west.

In May 2021, officers from the State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Squad, together with Australian Border Force (ABF) and the NSW Crime Commission (NSWCC), commenced an investigation under Strike Force Nilland after a suspicious imported consignment was intercepted by the ABF in Sydney.

When the consignment was examined it was allegedly found to contain pseudoephedrine concealed within metal pallets.

Police will allege further investigations under Strike Force Nilland identified a criminal syndicate involved in the importation, storage and supply of pseudoephedrine across Sydney.

Following extensive inquiries, a search warrant was executed at Westmead about 9am on Wednesday (25 August 2021).

During the search, investigators located and seized about 35kg of pseudoephedrine within plastic bags.

A 36-year-old man was arrested and taken to Auburn Police Station, where he was charged with supply prohibited drug (large commercial quantity).

He appeared at Burwood Local Court yesterday (Thursday 26 August 2021), where he was formally refused bail to reappear at the same court on Thursday 21 October 2021.

Organised Crime Squad Commander, Detective Acting Superintendent Gordon Arbinja, said investigations with partner agencies under Strike Force Nilland are continuing.

“The public know these joint investigations are relentless and successful in their pursuit of dismantling these types of syndicates – and they can expect more arrests as investigations continue,” Det A/Supt Arbinja said.

“Pseudoephedrine is a prohibited drug commonly used to manufacture methamphetamine, and the amount seized yesterday could have resulted in the manufacture of more than 20kg of the drug ICE.

“Organised crime groups distribute these harmful substances anywhere they see fit to make a profit, knowing full well the harm these drugs cause to the community; it won’t be tolerated,” Det A/Supt Arbinja said.

ABF Investigations Acting Superintendent Anthony Wheatley says Australia’s law enforcement agencies are dedicated to keeping dangerous substances off our streets.

“While ABF officers are committed to stopping harmful drugs entering Australia at the border, they’re also determined to stop the importation of illegal precursors, which allow criminals to manufacture drugs in our community,” A/Supt Wheatley said.

“This arrest should serve as a warning to anyone considering taking part in criminal activities – you will be caught, and you will be held accountable.”

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Nilland 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.