Three arrested and $500k seized in drug-related Adelaide operation

Authorities have uncovered more than $500,000 alleged to be proceeds of crime during multiple police searches across Adelaide this week. The operation has also seen three men with alleged links to the Descendants Outlaw Motor Cycle Gang (OMCG) arrested and charged with drug trafficking offences.

The arrests follow a joint operation involving the Australian Federal Police (AFP), South Australia Police (SAPOL), the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force (ABF), the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Search warrants carried out in Adelaide between Wednesday and Thursday (8-9 August), resulted in the seizure of more than $500,000 in alleged proceeds of crime and about 1kg of methamphetamine. Also seized during the searches were four vehicles, prohibited weapons and modified machinery parts. Some items were hidden inside specially-designed cavities in properties and vehicles.

Police have allegedly linked the three men to a syndicate operating within the Descendants OMCG which has been heavily involved in the distribution of methamphetamine since early 2016.

The ATO has raised liabilities of $7 million and recouped $2 million against members of the syndicate.

AFP Organised Crime Manager A/Commander Peter Bodel said the joint operation was about keeping communities safe from individuals and groups operating outside of the law.

“This kind of OMCG activity, which sees methamphetamine distributed throughout our towns and cities, is extremely harmful to individuals, families and whole communities,” A/Commander Bodel said.

“Today’s activity demonstrates the shared commitment of the AFP and our partner agencies to stop the trafficking of illegal drugs in Australia.”

Detective Superintendent Mark Trenwith, Officer in Charge of SAPOL’s Serious and Organised Crime Branch said: “The demand for illegal drugs, in particular methamphetamine, is a significant problem for the South Australian community which requires a whole-of-community response.

“SAPOL know too well the impact of illegal drugs on our streets and in our homes,” Detective Superintendent Trenwith said. “There are significant economic and social flow-on impacts of illegal drug use in the community, from the burden on health services to the heartache experienced by so many families. We hope this activity sends a message that this kind of illegal activity in South Australia won’t be tolerated.”  

ABF Investigations Commander Graeme Grosse said the operation highlighted the importance of a cross-agency approach in sharing expertise and resources.

“Illicit drugs are a national problem and this operation highlights the importance and effectiveness of our law enforcement partners working collaboratively to identify and disrupt this type of activity,” Commander Grosse said.

A 46-year-old man was remanded in custody after appearing before the Adelaide Magistrates Court yesterday (9 August 2018) charged with:

  • Trafficking in a controlled drug, contrary to s32 (3) of the Controlled Substances Act 1984 (State)

A 32-year-old man was remanded in custody after appearing before the Adelaide Magistrates Court yesterday (9 August 2018) charged with:

  • Trafficking in a marketable quantity of a controlled drug, contrary to s302.4 (1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth)
  • Dealing in proceeds of crime contrary to section 400.5 (1) of the Criminal Code (Cth)

A 36-year-old man was remanded in custody after appearing before the Adelaide Magistrates Court today charged with:

  • Trafficking a controlled drug contrary to section 302.4 (1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth)
  • Dealing in proceeds of crime contrary to section 400.6 (1) of the Criminal Code (Cth)

The joint-agency investigations remain ongoing.

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