Sydney man arrested in targeted organized crime probe

Editor’s note: Pictures and images of the seized vehicle are available via Hightail.

A Sydney man has been charged for his alleged role in laundering money and transporting drugs for a criminal syndicate, with drugs and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash seized by AFP with the help of ACIC and the NSWPF in coordinated activity against the union over the past four weeks.

AFP agents arrested the man last month, charging him with multiple drug and proceeds of crime offences. He remains in custody pending his next court appearance.

The man was noticed by AFP in August 2022, when his activities showed signs of drug distribution and money laundering businesses.

AFP investigators intercepted the man after collecting around 5kg of methamphetamine from a park in Oakhurst on September 29, 2022.

Over the following weeks, AFP members executed three search warrants in Carlton, Hurstville Grove and Cabarita, resulting in the seizure of more than $250,000 in suspected proceeds of crime, 8 kg of cocaine and methamphetamine.

Encrypted devices, believed to be used to coordinate criminal activity, and a ticket counting machine were also seized.

AFP also seized a car belonging to the man, which had several hidden compartments containing money and drugs. The hidden compartments underwent a forensic examination before being dismantled by AFP.

Sergeant Bobby Higgins told AFP that police disrupted the activities of a criminal network operating in the Sydney suburbs.

“This operation was an example of the current hybrid nature of Australia-based criminal syndicates,” he said.

“These syndicates are not confined to one type of drug, and they have the ability to move and process large sums of money while using sophisticated means to conceal its storage and movement.”

The 25-year-old man was charged with the following:

  • Three counts of commercial traffic offenses contrary to Section 302.2(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • One count of trafficking in the proceeds of crime of $100,000 contrary to Section 400.4(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth);
  • One count of commercial supply of prohibited drugs contrary to section 25(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth); and
  • One count of possession of prohibited drugs contrary to section 23(1)(c) of the Drug Abuse and Trafficking Act 1985.

He is then due to appear in court in Sutherland on November 25, 2022. The maximum sentence for trafficking a commercial quantity of drugs is life imprisonment.

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