Alleged head of a global drug trafficking syndicate extradited to Melbourne

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A Canadian national, 59, who is the alleged head of a global drug trafficking syndicate, has been charged by the AFP after being extradited from the Netherlands today.

The man will appear in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court today to face a charge of conspiracy to traffic commercial quantities of controlled drugs, contrary to subsection 11.5(1) and subsection 302.2(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth).

The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.

The AFP will allege the man was part of a conspiracy to traffic separate quantities of methamphetamine, (or derivatives of the drug), totaling 20kg, between March 2012 and March 2013. It is alleged the seized drugs have a street value of up to $4.4 million dollars in today’s prices.

His extradition is the culmination of a long-running AFP investigation into a transnational organised crime syndicate called Sam Gor/The Company. This involved global application of AFP capabilities across domestic investigations, the transnational offshore disruption taskforce Operation Gain, and the AFP’s International Network.

The man was arrested at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport on 22 January, 2021, by Dutch National Police after the AFP requested an INTERPOL Red Notice for the man’s provisional arrest.

In June 2022, a Chinese-British dual national, 66, was also charged by the AFP on a charge of conspiracy to traffic commercial quantities of controlled drugs, contrary to subsection 11.5(1) and subsection 302.2(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth). The man, extradited from Thailand in June 2022, appeared in Melbourne Magistrates’ court and is alleged to be the co-accused of the Canadian national.

The AFP alleges the men conspired with junior members working for the syndicate in Australia to transport illicit drugs between Sydney and Melbourne.

The AFP also alleges the syndicate used money laundering remitters offshore and Australia, including unlawfully using a bank account in the name of an Australian casino, to pay for the illicit drugs.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Krissy Barrett said methamphetamine was a highly-addictive drug that caused misery in families and communities.

“Many first responders, frontline workers and teachers, have harrowing accounts of dealing with individuals who have taken methamphetamine,’’ Assistant Commissioner Barrett said.

“The AFP’s primary job is to keep Australians safe and protect Australia’s way of life.

“The AFP will make Australia a hostile environment for all transnational serious organised crime syndicates that target our communities.

“We allege the individuals charged by the AFP today and in June this year conspired to traffic commercial quantities of methamphetamine within Australia.

“The hard-work of investigators, and the AFP’s international network, has enabled for these alleged offenders to be charged and face the justice system in Australia.

“To bring alleged offenders before the courts requires patience, dedication and evidence.

 “Just a few weeks ago, AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw said the AFP had runs on the board when it came to returning alleged offenders to Australia to face the justice system.”

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