Media Release: Joint operation results in $52 million narcotics seizure

Release Date: Thursday, October 04 2012, 03:09 PM

This is a joint media release between the AFP, NSW Police, ACC, NSWCC and Customs and Border Protection

The Joint Organised Crime Group (JOCG) has seized an estimated 52 kilograms of narcotics and arrested two Canadian nationals as a result of intelligence provided by the Australian Crime Commission (ACC).

On 3 October 2012, the JOCG arrested a 65-year-old male and a 36-year-old male after stopping their vehicle in the Sydney suburb of Rosehill.

Police had earlier seized 52 kilograms of an illicit substance suspected to be methylamphetamine from a Wentworth Point premises, allegedly occupied by the two men. A seizure of this size has a street value of up to $52 million.

The two Canadian nationals were charged with supply large commercial quantity of prohibited drug contrary to Section 25(2) of the NSW legislation Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985. The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment and/or a $550,000 fine.

The two men appeared in Parramatta Local Court today (October 4). The men have been remanded in custody until 29 November to appear at Sydney Central Local Court.

The JOCG is a joint taskforce comprising Australian Federal Police (AFP), Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, NSW Police Force, the NSW Crime Commission and the ACC.

AFP Acting Manager Serious and Organised Crime Matt Rippon said this operation is proof of how strong relationships are essential for Australian law enforcement.

“This result follows the recent successful JOCG seizure of 42 kilograms of methamphetamine in July 2012, and the AFP’s fight against criminal syndicates who attempt to import drugs into Australia will continue in collaboration with our partner agencies,” acting Commander Rippon said.  

ACC Acting Executive Director Fusion, Target Development and Performance Dr John Moss said the seizure was a huge win for law enforcement, with more than 50 kilograms of illicit substances being diverted away from Australian streets.

“The collaboration and targeted intelligence of this operation has made Australia a more hostile place for those seeking to import and sell illicit substances,” he said.

NSW Police Force Organised Crime Targeting Squad Commander, Detective Acting Superintendent Bryne Ruse, said the NSW Police Force remained committed to reducing the availability of prohibited drugs on the streets of NSW.

"This operation again demonstrates the results that can be achieved in tackling drug distribution when law enforcement agencies work in partnership at a State and Commonwealth level," Detective A/Superintendent Ruse said.

"I commend the ongoing work of the Joint Organised Crime Group for their significant efforts to prevent prohibited drugs making their way into the community."

Customs and Border Protection National Manager of Cargo and Maritime Targeting, John Gibbon said that Australian law enforcement authorities would use all of the resources available to them to stop illicit importations such as this one.

“Customs and Border Protection works together with our law enforcement partners to protect the Australian community from these dangerous substances,” Mr Gibbon said.

Investigations are ongoing and the JOCG has not ruled out further arrests.


Media inquiries:

AFP National Media                (02) 6131 6333
NSW State Crime Command   (02) 8835 8339
Customs Media Team            (02) 6275 6793
ACC Media                            (02) 6243 6843
NSW Crime Commission         (02) 9269 3805