Follow the money and the drugs will follow. The minnows they caught with the drugs are disposable, with a queue of guys ready to take their places.
That is a lot of money to the man on the street to lose, but if you haven’t seen the brilliant show called “breaking bad”. The drugs they lost are are a mere few batches away for the big players. Not much else the Australian Federal Police can do.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) have seized 135 kilograms of methamphetamine with a street value of $130 million from a Melbourne apartment.
Police said they located four suitcases containing the drugs in an inner city Melbourne apartment on Tuesday night.
The drugs represent 1.3 million street deals, police said.
The AFP and Australian Crime Commission (ACC) executed search warrants in Melbourne yesterday and arrested four Taiwanese nationals, all aged in their twenties.
Eligo Taskforce since 2012:
- Aprox $40 million in cash seized
- Over $800 million of illicit drugs seized
- $30 million in assets restrained
- Identified more than 179 targets previously unknown to law enforcement officials
- Disrupted 25 serious organised crime groups
- Shut down 18 clandestine drug labs, three of which were commercial scale
- Raised $12 million in tax assessments with 150 referrals to the ATO for further action on evasion and money laundering.
The seizure and arrests comes after intelligence from the Eligo National Task Force.
AFP Commander Bruce Giles said it was a significant seizure for the country and the state.
“Ice, we see as one of the most dangerous and insidious diseases in our communities and the fact that we have removed over 1.3 million street deals of methamphetamine has got to be good for the Victorian and Australian community,” he said.
“I think in terms of an organised crime syndicate operating in Australia, clearly they will see yet again that agencies cooperate effectively together to join forces to combat the drug trade.”
The four men, Chun Lan, 28, Ming Hsuan Ou and Li Ping Chen, both 23, and Shu Yi Lin, 20, appeared briefly in the Melbourne Magistrates Court just before 1:00pm (AEST).
They were all charged with possessing and trafficking a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug. The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.
The court heard the men, who were assisted by a translator, have Australian tourist visas and their arrest yesterday is their first time in custody.
They have been remanded in custody until their next court hearing. Magistrate Jelena Popovic told the men they could apply for bail at any time.
They will return to court on November 5 for a committal mention.
Authorities tracking money linked to offshore crime syndicates have seized $130 million worth of ice packed into plastic bags and stacked in four bulging suitcases in a Melbourne apartment.
Four Taiwanese nationals in Australia on tourist visas have been charged over the crystal methylamphetamine haul.
More than 135kg of the drug was seized, an amount which police say would have been on-sold to users 1.3 million times over.
A joint Australian Federal Police and Australian Crime Commission (ACC) operation netted the illicit product, after intelligence was provided through the Eligo national task force which tracks money laundering.
ACC national manager of investigations Richard Grant said people were increasingly being targeted by cartels and offshore syndicates, focused purely on profit.
“One of the things for the Eligo task force is going after the profits and this is how we were able to track these particular syndicate members to end up with these seizures,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
AFP commander Bruce Giles said the bust was significant and investigations into the exact source of the drugs were ongoing.
“Traditionally with this quantity of ice, you would expect it to come by land or sea,” he said.
The drugs were found in four suitcases in an inner-city Melbourne apartment on Tuesday afternoon.
Four men have been charged with a range of drug offences.
A brief hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday was told the men were in Australia on tourist visas and have no fixed address within the country.
Shu Yi Lin, 20, and Li Ping Chen, 23, were both charged with possessing a commercial quantity of ice suspected of being illegally imported.
Chun Lan, 28, and Ming Hsuan Ou, 23, were each charged with trafficking a commercial quantity of ice.