Drug syndicate member jailed over 1.8 tonne bust — Australia

AUSTRALIA — A 37-year-old international crime syndicate member has been jailed for more than 18 years, after pleading guilty to conspiring to import a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs, namely 800kgs of MDMA.

The 800 kilograms was part of a broader network that attempted to import 1.8 tonnes of illicit drugs from the Netherlands into Australia in 2017.

The Punchbowl man was today (Monday 27 April 2020) sentenced to 18 years and two months imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 12 years in the Downing Centre District Court.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) launched Operation VEYDA in mid-2016.

The major investigation successfully dismantled two interlinked organised crime syndicates operating across Australia, the United Arab Emirates and Europe.

A total of 1.8 tonnes of MDMA, 136 kilograms of cocaine and 15 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine was seized by authorities in the Netherlands, before it could be transported in shipments bound for Australia.

More than $5.4 million dollars identified as proceeds of crime was also seized.

The crime syndicate member sentenced today was arrested by authorities in Dubai in August 2017, before being extradited to Australia in relation to the matter. He was one of 21 Australians charged as part of the investigation. Six Dutch nationals were also arrested by the National Police of the Netherlands (NPN) for their roles in the syndicate.

Operation VEYDA included assistance from the New South Wales Police Force, UAE Ministry of Justice, the Dubai Public Prosecution Office, Dubai Police, the UAE Federal Customs Authority, Dubai Customs, the NPN, the National Public Prosecution Office of the Netherlands and Hong Kong Customs and Excise, along with Australian Border Force, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney-General’s Department.

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Source- Australian Federal Police (AFP)