Calabrian mafia looses 14.5 million ecstasy tabs to aussie cops. Again.

By dpayne · Aug 8, 2008 · Updated Nov 25, 2010 · ·
  1. dpayne
    5.6 tonnes or 14.5 million or so pills....... omg swim wonders how long or often would australia consume 14.5 million pills lol

    Share This Article


  1. Alfa
    Officers seize 5.6 tonnes of ecstasy pills in probe

    Keith Moor

    August 09, 2008 12:00am

    AUSTRALIAN Federal Police have foiled repeated Calabrian mafia attempts to flood Australia with world record amounts of ecstasy worth $600 million.

    During a three-year investigation, they seized two separate shipments in Melbourne with a total weight of 5.6 tonnes.

    [imgl=white][/imgl] AFP agents yesterday arrested 19 men during the busting of the Australian arm of an alleged international drug gang, which allegedly smuggled almost 20 million ecstasy pills and large amounts of cocaine into Melbourne.

    Simultaneous raids were carried out in Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands, and more arrests are expected overseas and in Australia.

    The global syndicate is alleged to be dominated by an Italian organised crime gang of Calabrian origin, but it also involves other organised crime gangs.

    AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty said yesterday the latest police intelligence suggested the syndicate was allegedly involved in 60 per cent of all drug importations into southeast Australia.

    The latest shipment of 150kg of cocaine, worth $37 million, arrived at Melbourne's docks on July 24. It was hidden in a load of coffee and came from Colombia.

    AFP evidence obtained during this operation allegedly revealed an increasing willingness by the Calabrian mafia to work with criminals outside its group and in various parts of the world.

    Hundreds of AFP agents have worked on the three-year probe and several overseas police agencies have been involved in evidence gathering.

    [imgr=white][/imgr]Among those arrested yesterday was Griffith-based Pasquale "Pat" Barbaro, 46, who has been charged with trafficking ecstasy, conspiracy to import ecstasy and aiding and abetting drug importations.

    The 1979 Woodward Royal Commission report named four of Mr Barbaro's close relatives as being members of the Calabrian mafia cell responsible for ordering the 1977 death of Griffith anti-drug crusader Donald Mackay. None were charged.

    It said the New South Wales Riverina city of Griffith was a major Calabrian mafia power base.

    AFP agents will allege Mr Barbaro was one of the most influential members of the Australian arm of the Calabrian-dominated worldwide drug network.

    Also arrested and charged yesterday was Crown casino high-roller Rob Karam, 41, of Kew.

    Mr Karam was one of Crown's top 200 gamblers until Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon banned him from the casino.

    The AFP also arrested John William Samuel Higgs, 61, and charged him with conspiracy to import amphetamines.

    [imgl=white][/imgl]Mr Higgs, of Taylors Lakes, is the founding member of the Melbourne chapter of the Black Uhlans bikie gang.

    Also arrested yesterday was Tony Sergi, 34, of Sydenham.

    Mr Sergi was shot and wounded during an attempt on his life in 2005, and police believe they foiled another attempt to kill him in 2006.

    The Herald Sun became aware early last year that the Calabrian mafia was allegedly working with other criminal groups to ship massive amounts of ecstasy into Melbourne.

    It agreed to an AFP request not to reveal the allegations over an Italian organised crime gang's role until after arrests had been made.

    AFP agents feared that revealing the Calabrian connection earlier would jeopardise their investigation into the syndicate's connections with other organised crime gangs around the world.

    It alleges the same Calabrian mafia-dominated gang was responsible for at least two ecstasy importations from Italy to Melbourne.

    The first was the 2005 then-world record seizure in Melbourne of 5 million ecstasy tablets weighing 1.2 tonnes.

    [imgl=white][/imgl]That seizure was extensively reported, but the Italian connection was withheld by the Herald Sun so as not to jeopardise the continuing AFP investigation into the Calabrian mafia's links to the international drug smuggling network.

    The existence of an even bigger 2007 ecstasy seizure in Melbourne was revealed yesterday on the Herald Sun website.

    AFP agents secretly seized a 4.4 tonne container of 14.5 million ecstasy tablets in June 2007.

    That is still the largest single seizure of ecstasy in the world, and it had a street value of $450 million.

    It was not made public by the AFP as it believed announcing the seizure then would alert the Calabrians and their associates that they were the prime suspects.

    The Herald Sun agreed to an AFP request not to reveal that bust until after arrests had been made, which ended up being more than a year later.

    AFP intelligence suggests Calabrian mafia cells in Melbourne, Adelaide, Griffith and Sydney allegedly paid about $10 million to buy the shipment of 14.5 million tablets from the Calabrian mafia in Italy -- giving the Australian cells a potential profit of more than $400 million.

    "The searches in Europe are going on as I speak," Mr Keelty said yesterday.

    "They have already seized half a billion euro dollars as well as a large cache of firearms.

    "All the intelligence we have gathered here in Australia, all the intelligence about the methodology, will be shared with our European partners so we can shut this syndicate down."

    Calabria is the world headquarters of the Italian organised crime gang N'Dranghita.

    N'Dranghita is known by some Italians as L'Onorata Societa (the Honoured Society) or La Famiglia (The Family).

    It is simply called the mafia by most in Australia, or the Calabrian mafia to differentiate it from the Sicilian mafia.,21985,24150599-2862,00.html

    5.6 tonnes or 14.5 million or so pills....... omg swim wonders how long or often would australia consume 14.5 million pills lol

    Watch the video's:
  2. Terrapinzflyer
    Ecstasy Committal Hearing Postponed

    Lawyers prosecuting one of Australia's biggest drug cases, involving a number of Riverina men, have been ordered to resubmit their brief of evidence against the 31 accused.

    It is alleged those charged over the nation's biggest ecstasy haul were involved in a conspiracy to import 4.5 tonnes of the drug into Melbourne in tomato tins.

    Defence lawyer Colin Lovett QC, told the Melbourne Magistrates Court the 10,000 page Crown brief was "gobbledegook".

    He said it was a pathetic exercise in futility and should be resubmitted, because some defendants still had no idea what the case against them consisted of.

    He also said he could not install the Australian Federal Police computer program needed to access files of evidence.

    Magistrate Simon Garnett postponed the committal hearing and said he would issue further orders about the new brief.

    The alleged ringleader, Pasquale Barbaro, remains in custody after yesterday's hearing.

    The other Griffith men, Saverio Zirilli, Domenic Barbaro, Pasquale Sergi and Giovanni Polimeni, are on bail.
  3. Synchronium
    I'd laugh if they turned out to be mCPP.
  4. buseman
    Accused drug boss denied wedding wish

    Accused drug importer Pasquale Barbaro will not make his daughter's wedding after a Melbourne Magistrate indicated he will reserve a decision on his latest bail application.

    The 48-year-old from Griffith in News South Wales was arrested in August 2008.

    He is charged with numerous drug offences, including organising 4.5 tonnes of ecstasy to be smuggled into Melbourne hidden in tomato tins.

    Barbaro is also accused of importing 150 kilograms of cocaine and laundering more than $7 million from drugs sales.

    Victoria Police also allege he plotted to murder two men in Carlton in 2008.

    Today, Con Heliotis QC told the court a record surety of $3.45 million could be supplied if Barbaro was granted bail.

    He told the court if the matters went to trial the earliest date would be late 2012 and possibly 2013 for either case.

    That would be the longest time someone has served in custody without bail, he said.

    Lawyers also argued Barbaro's access to papers and computers in prison made getting legal direction laborious.

    Police prosecutor Sergeant Daniel Baulch opposed bail on grounds Barbaro has the financial means and overseas contacts to flee the country.

    The court heard he is also considered to be a danger to others and has threatened a witness in jail

    The way Barbaro deals with a matter when it arises, is violence, Sgt Baulch said.

    He also said the impetus behind one of the alleged murder plots still exists.

    The wedding of Barbaro's daughter will take place in NSW this weekend and the court heard he had hoped to attend.

    But that is unlikely, with Magistrate Simon Garnett indicating he will reserve his judgement after the bail hearing finishes tomorrow.

    Barbaro's his first bail application was refused on the ground he was an unacceptable flight risk.

    A second bail application was granted in December 2008 but that was revoked by the Supreme Court.

    By Sarah Farnsworth
    July 8, 2010
  5. Terrapinzflyer
    Judge says $3.45 million bail 'no guarantee' drug accused won't flee

    A MAN accused of heading a drug syndicate behind a world record $440 million ecstasy bust could flee on bail if he was determined enough, a judge commented today.

    Justice Paul Coghlan said Pasquale Barbaro, 48, had the money required and would only need an hour to flee if he had a plan in place.

    The promise of a $3.45 million surety did not guarantee anything and the judge referred to other high profile cases where a person had fled overseas.

    Justice Coghlan said he had to balance the delay in bringing Mr Barbaro to trial against an unacceptable risk he would flee the country or would commit further offences if he was bailed.

    Defence lawyer Con Heliotis QC said Mr Barbaro would spend three-and-a-half years on remand if the "optimistic'' Supreme Court trial date of February 2012 was achieved.

    "Three-and-a-half years in custody before you get a chance to defend yourself is inordinate,'' Mr Heliotis said.

    Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.

    End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.

    Mr Barbaro of Griffith in NSW, is accused of heading a drug syndicate responsible for the ecstacy that was seized by Federal Police in 2007.

    He is also charged with importing 150kg of cocaine, laundering $7.4 million in dirty money and two murder conspiracies.

    Mr Barbaro has applied for bail in the Victorian Supreme Court after being refused bail on a $3.45 million surety in Melbourne Magistrates' Court in August.

    Mr Heliotis said that Mr Barbaro was previously on bail for seven weeks and the Federal Police set up a system where he could be asked to stand before a video camera to prove he was at home or be called day or night.

    The QC said his client was the same man then and had access to the same amounts of money but did not flee.

    And the AFP never used the video once and never called him once during the seven weeks.

    "If the Federal police were so concerned (he would flee) why didn't they bother,'' he said.

    Justice Coghlan said he would refrain from commenting on the actions of the Federal Police.

    The judge said he was concerned about the delay and said almost a year had been lost in the preparation of the case against Mr Barbaro.

    He said there was a worrying culture at the criminal bar of "if we don't have to do it today we will do it the day before we have to do something''.

    "The reason for the delay is that nobody uses the time available,'' Justice Coghlan said.

    The hearing continues.

    Norrie Ross
    Herald Sun
    November 25, 2010
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!