Restaurateur is charged with trying to smuggle 900kg of cocaine into Australia after an investigation sparked by huge Star Casino bets
- Mostafa Baluch, 33, allegedly involved in plot to smuggle in 900kg of cocaine
- Baluch has been charged with a string of offences and has been refused bail
- Arrest is part of investigation into crime syndicate to import 3000kg of cocaine
A former restaurant owner has been charged after allegedly trying to smuggle in 900kg of cocaine into Australia.
Police raided the home of Mostafa Baluch, 33, in Bayview in Sydney’s northern beaches, earlier this month and allegedly found $62,700 in cash, four mobile phones, a small amount of cocaine and steroids, and US$12,000.
Baluch, who once owned Cervo restaurant in Northbridge, faced charges including possessing anabolic steroids, drug supply, and dealing with the proceeds of crime.
The 33-year-old was on Wednesday hit with another charge of conspiracy to import a commercial quantity of drugs. He was refused bail.
Baluch’s arrest came as part of a large investigation that was sparked by a huge gamble at a Sydney casino.
Police raided the home of Mostafa Baluch, 33, in Bayview in Sydney’s northern beaches earlier this month and allegedly found $62,700 in cash, four mobile phones, a small amount of cocaine and steroids, and US$12,000
The restaurateur was arrested as part of an investigation into an alleged organised crime sting plotting to supply three tonnes of cocaine in NSW.
Detectives started the investigation last year after receiving a tip about a person gambling a huge amount of money at the Star Casino, the Daily Telegraph reported.
The betting was flagged as potential money laundering and kicked off an investigation that eventually became focused on drug trafficking.
Police allege they discovered drugs were being imported across Australia and North and South America.
The restaurateur was arrested as part of an investigation into an alleged organised crime sting plotting to supply three tonnes of cocaine in New South Wales (pictured is some of the cocaine siezed)
The US Navy seized 870kg of cocaine after intercepting a vessel travelling off the coast of Colombia in October.
Another 900kg of the drug was seized from a boat sailing off the coast of Ecuador in April.
NSW Police allege Baluch was the ‘sole financier’ of the 900kg cocaine shipment that was worth an estimated street value of $270 million.
Both shipments allegedly formed part of the overarching conspiracy to import a total of three tonnes of cocaine into Australia.