Melbourne men jailed over organised crime investigation

This is a joint media release on behalf of Australian Federal Police and Australia Border Force  

Two men have been sentenced today (Wednesday, January 29, 2020) over their roles in attempting to import and traffic more than 33 kilograms of cocaine, MDMA and ketamine into Australia in 2017.

The pair pleaded guilty to their involvement in an international drug syndicate that was using cryptocurrency and the dark web to import and traffic illicit drugs into Australia, through approximately 140 international mail items addressed to 25 post office boxes and parcel lockers across Melbourne.

A 29-year-old man has been jailed for seven years, with a non-parole period of four years, after attempting to traffic and import border controlled drugs into Australia.

A 28-year-old man was sentenced to six years behind bars, with a non-parole period of three years and six months, for attempting to traffic border controlled drugs.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) launched Operation Crozet in February 2017 after identifying the suspicious postal packages containing drugs that had been sent by the criminal syndicate, using stolen identities, over a two-year period.

Australian Border Force (ABF) officers seized a number of suspicious parcels containing 15.8 kilograms of MDMA, 2.6 kilograms of cocaine and 1.1 kilogram of ketamine.

The discovery led to the execution of a number of search warrants at properties in the Melbourne suburbs of Kew and Mernda. 

Investigators located and seized a Lamborghini, more than $160,000 in cash, money-counting machines and hydraulic drug press machines, in addition to a large quantity of drugs, including:

  • 1 kilogram of crystal methamphetamine (ice)
  • 700 grams of cocaine
  • 10 kilograms of MDMA
  • 1 kilogram of cannabis
  • 1 kilogram of Ketamine
  • 10 vials of testosterone
  • 16 litres of 1.4 butanedial (metabolises into GHB)

On 13 November 2019, the pair faced the Melbourne County Court and pleaded guilty in relation to the following charges:

  • Business of Importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, contrary to sub-section 307.1(1) and 311.4 of the Criminal Code (Cth)
  • Business of Trafficking a commercial quantity of a controlled drug contrary to sub-sections 302.2(1) and 311.2 of the Criminal Code (Cth); and
  • Traffic in a commercial quantity of a drug of dependence contrary to section 71AA of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 (Vic)

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Spiros Drossos said this case outcome is yet another serious warning to criminals attempting to innovate their methods of importing illicit drugs onto Australian shores.

“No matter how innovative or sophisticated these criminals become, we will continue to track them down and prosecute them to the full extent of the law, thanks to public assistance and through the tireless efforts of all of our law enforcement partners,” he said.

ABF Regional Commander Craig Palmer said this was another example of the ABF and AFP working collaboratively to halt the importation of a significant amount of harmful drugs into the Australian community, and holding those responsible to account.

For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services, call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.

Media enquiries:

AFP National Media: (02) 5126 9297
ABF Media: (02) 6264 3344

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