US Australia meth bust shows clear links between bikies.
Police say a record $1.29 billion drug seizure, the largest found in either Australia or the US, shows a “clear” link between local outlaw motorcycle gangs and “extremely sophisticated” Mexican drug cartels.
Authorities revealed a record bust of a 1.7-tonne haul of ice bound for Australia this morning, hidden inside two containers and 850 electrical capacitors.
Months of investigation by Australian and US authorities led to the seizure of ice in California on January 9 which was destined for Australian shores.
AFP organised crime assistant commissioner Bruce Hill said Australia was attractive to Mexican cartels because of the high street value for illicit drugs.
“I’ve got to be very careful what I say regarding the Mexicans as there are ongoing investigations offshore … but they are one of the major and most powerful organised crime cartels currently operating,” Mr Hill said.
“We have averted a tsunami of ice coming into Australia.”
Victoria Police assistant commissioner Tess Walsh didn’t believe that the bust would destroy the relationship between bikie gangs and the Mexican Cartel, but said “inroads” had been made.
In early 2018 a policeman stopped a vehicle in country Victoria and found 25 kilos of ice and arrested an individual with connections to outlaw bikie gangs.
The arrest and subsequent investigation led police to a house where they discovered two tonnes of precursor used to cook ice.
Two American nationals were among six people arrested in Australia yesterday; four in Victoria and two in NSW.
A joint taskforce of Australian Federal Police, Border Force and Victoria Police raided properties at Woodstock, Pakenham and Campbellfield.
The two US nationals, a 52-year-old man and a 46-year-old woman, were arrested in Woodstock with suspected proceeds of crime totalling $500,000 found at their premises, according to police.
A 31-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman – both Australian – were arrested in Keilor Downs with police seizing 6.5kg of ice.
American nationals Nasser Abo Abdo and Leonor Fajardo, both from Woodstock, fronted Melbourne Magistrates Court today on drugs charges, along with Tuan Ngoc Tran, from Keilor Downs.
Mr Abo Abdo, 52, Ms Fajardo, 46, and Mr Tran, 31, were remanded in custody and are due to return to court on June 17.
Two Australian men aged 25 and 31, were also arrested in Sydney following raids on properties in Bonnyrig Heights, Mount Pritchard and Hinchinbrook.
The two men are expected to appear today in a Sydney court where AFP officers will apply to have them extradited to Melbourne.
They have both been charged with attempting to import a commercial quantity of methamphetamine carrying a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.