Three men are arrested over alleged plot to import three tonnes of cocaine worth $900MILLION into Australia after an elaborate international sting operation
- Three men arrested and charged over alleged plot to import cocaine into NSW
- Men – aged 37, 42 and 58 – were allegedly part of organised criminal syndicate
- The potential street value of the three tonnes of cocaine is $900 million
A photo of a man betting a ‘significant’ amount of money at a casino – mainly on poker machines – has resulted in the seizure of $900 million of cocaine and multiple arrests across NSW.
Police formed Strike Force Jillabenan in 2020 after receiving information a number of men were allegedly part of a organised criminal syndicate involved in a conspiracy to import three tonnes of the illegal drug into Australia.
The drugs were allegedly being sourced from North America and South America.
The first major breakthrough was in October last year when the US Navy, acting on NSW police intelligence, allegedly seized 870kg of cocaine when they raided a vessel off the coast of Colombia.
April this year saw another major breakthrough, with the US Coast Guard allegedly seized a further 900 kilograms of cocaine, after intercepting a boat travelling off the coast of Ecuador, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Police arresting one of the men (pictured right) after they uncovered a plot to import three tonnes of cocaine into NSW
The haul was significant, with the seizure of cocaine (pictured) said to have a street value of $900 million
A man betting a significant amount of money at a casino (pictured) has resulted in the seizure of $900 million of cocaine and multiple arrests across NSW
Police arrested a number of men (pictured) in raids on a series of addresses in Sydney as well as Newcastle
Two vessels were stopped by law enfocement in different operations off the coast of South America (pictured)
Three men – aged 37, 42 and 58 – were arrested in NSW on Thursday, June 3 and charged over their alleged roles in the global conspiracy.
Shortly after the arrests, the Organised Crime Squad executed five search warrants at homes at Mortdale, Rockdale and Sans Souci in Sydney’s south as well as Paddington in Sydney’s east and Regents Park in western Sydney.
During the searches, investigators located and seized cash, electronic devices, documentation, and numerous mobile phones.
NSW Police said they had co-operated with the US Drug Enforcement Administration as part of its investigations and seized a total of 1770kg of cocaine during two separate interdictions off the coast of South America.
NSW Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith said the cocaine seized represented roughly 12 months worth of the drug for the state of NSW.
He added the alleged drug importers could face life sentences following the record drug haul.
‘[Their] surprise has now obviously gone to anguish,’ he told 2GB.
All three men were refused bail to appear at local courts on Friday.