Two foreign nationals have been arrested and $237 million worth of drugs have been seized in a "significant" sting on an international drug ring operating in Australia.
Police say a Canadian man and an American man arrested earlier this week are key players in an international organised crime ring which was plotting to import narcotics into Australia concealed inside heavy machinery.
In September the Australian Federal Police found 350kg of illegal drugs hidden inside a road roller which was shipped from China to Port Botany.
Acting Assistant Commissioner David Sharpe says the haul was made up of 235kg of methamphetamines and 115kg of cocaine with a combined street value of up to $237 million.
On Sunday, the AFP swooped on a house in Avalon, north of Sydney, and arrested a 34-year-old Canadian man.
He appeared in Sydney Central Court yesterday charged with a range of offences related to the importation of drugs and bail was refused.
During a search of a home in Leichhardt yesterday, police arrested a 34-year-old US man and found $150,000 in cash.
The man has been charged with a range of importation offences and is due to appear in court in Sydney today.
More arrests possible
Mr Sharpe says further arrests are possible.
"Let me tell you, these are significant players in an international organised crime syndicate that's targeted Australia," he said.
"The AFP are continuing inquiries in Australia and overseas and cannot rule out further arrests at this time.
"This seizure is one of a number of large seizures conducted by the AFP already in 2012.
"It is the second multi-million-dollar seizure inside of a week. In the last five months the AFP and partners have seized in excess of 2.3 tonnes of narcotics."
He said the operation was ongoing and was being conducted across several countries.
"To be able to arrest two significant international foreign nationals in Australia receiving these drugs is quite significant," he said.
"Three hundred and fifty kilograms is not the greatest record in Australia, but it is certainly very significant given the impact we've had on the network and how high up these people are within the network."
Mr Sharpe said he was unable to say where the drugs originated or where the syndicate was based.
Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:29pm AEDT
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