DRUG raids have smashed major narcotics networks and led to the arrests of some of the nation's biggest drug barons, NSW police say.
Today we haven't taken a tentacle off the beast, we've removed a very, very big beast, NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione told reporters.
We further allege that among those that are in custody right now are a number of major players in the Australian drugs trade, names that you will instantly recognise.
Detectives launched what was claimed to be one of the state's biggest drugs busts at first light today, with 500 cops raiding 37 premises across Sydney, on the NSW Central Coast and in Mudgee.
They arrested 28 men and one woman in NSW and two people in Western Australia.
Police said they had seized 16.7kg of drugs, believed to be cocaine, 5848 tabs of LSD, 30 cannabis plants, 29kg of precursor chemicals, four firearms and 600 rounds of ammunition.
The drugs have an estimated street value of $9 million.
Assets worth $14 million, including aircraft, luxury cars and mansions are being examined and may also be seized.
But it is the taking down of alleged drugs barons that police say is the most significant outcome. “We'll be alleging ... this is the top of the tree,” Assistant Commissioner Dave Hudson told reporters.
There were measures in place to try and ensure those arrested were not simply replaced by other drug dealers, he said.
Mr Scipione said alleged criminals he started hunting 30 years ago were among those arrested.
A number of the people who were arrested today were people I started working on 30 years ago when I started working in the police force, he said.
These people have been around a long time.
These people are before the courts today, they will be well known to many of you.
The operation which led to the arrests, Strike Force Domino, began a year ago.
It was so extensive it required NSW Police Minister Michael Daley to authorise a one-off , $1.7 million grant to fund it.
A 60-year-old Croydon Park man is alleged to be the most senior of the drug barons arrested on Wednesday.
Police issued a list of those arrested, ranging from the most senior to the most junior players.
A 34-year-old Kogarah man and a 56-year-old Campsie man were alleged to be the next most senior on the list.
Those arrested ranged in age from 66 to 24.
They were allegedly involved in the operation of six linked drug syndicates, manufacturing, importing and selling drugs.
8th Dec 2010
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