Two men jailed for importing $122 million worth of ecstasy from Italy in tomato tins

The drugs were found packed in more than 3,000 tomato tins.

The drugs were found packed in more than 3,000 tomato tins. (Australian Customs)

Related Story: Trio jailed over world’s biggest ecstasy haul

Two men involved in the importation of more than four tonnes of ecstasy hidden in tomato tins have been sentenced to more than 10 years in jail.

Customs officers at the Port of Melbourne intercepted the ecstasy in the form of 15 million tablets hidden in 3,000 tins arriving from Naples, Italy, in 2007.

The drugs, found packed in a shipping container, weighed more than 4.4 tonnes and had an estimated street value of $122 million.

It was the largest haul of ecstasy in the world at the time of the seizure.

In 2012 the drug ring’s leader Pasquale Barbaro was sentenced to life in prison.

South Australian Carmelo Falanga, 49, was today sentenced to 23 years in prison with a minimum sentence of 16 years and six months.

Jon Visser, 63, of New South Wales, has been sentenced to 11 years in prison with a minimum eight years.

Trio jailed over world’s biggest ecstasy haul

Updated Wed 1 May 2013, 8:15am

Trio jailed over ecstasy haul

Jailed drug smugglers (L-R) Salvatore Agresta, John Higgs, and Pasquale Sergi.

Three men have been jailed over their attempt to smuggle the world’s biggest haul of ecstasy into Australia.

A Victorian Supreme Court jury found the trio guilty of conspiring to smuggle more than 15 million ecstasy tablets into Australia from Italy in 2007.

The drugs weighed more than 4.4 tonnes, had an estimated street value of $122 million and were hidden inside tomato tins.

At the time of the seizure, it was the largest haul of ecstasy in the world.

Pasquale Sergi, Salvatore Agresta and John Higgs were sentenced to a combined total of 40 years in jail.

“You were all involved in a crime in which every one was playing for the highest stakes we have ever known in this country,” Justice Betty King said.

“That of obtaining possession of 15 million plus tablets of ecstasy

“You must have all been aware of the risk and the consequences of [your] involvement.

“You chose to take that risk and now you must all bear the consequences.”

Higgs, 65, who has a criminal history including a conviction for manslaughter, was sentenced to 18 years in jail with a non-parole period of 14 years.

Agresta, 44, who ran an Ascot Vale Deli where gangland identity Des Moran was shot dead in 2009, was sentenced to 12 years in jail to serve at least 8 years.

Sergi, 49, was sentenced to 10 years in jail, to serve a minimum 6 years and 9 months.

A fourth man who can not be named has also been jailed over the conspiracy.

The two ringleaders, New South Wales men Pasquale Barbaro and Saverio Zirilli, have already been jailed.

Drug dealer sentenced to life for world’s largest ecstasy haul

Updated Fri 25 May 2012, 9:05am AEST

It can now be revealed that drug king-pin Pasquale Barbaro, of Griffith, in New South Wales, is serving a life sentence for importing the world’s biggest ecstasy haul into Australia.

A suppression order on the sentence was lifted today, after a jury found four of his co-accused guilty of conspiracy to possess a commercial quantity of MDMA.

Barbaro, 50, originally of Griffith, in NSW, pleaded guilty to charges including the importation of 15 million ecstasy tablets.

The drugs, which were estimated to be worth at least $122 million, were hidden in cans labelled as “peeled tomatoes” from Italy.

Barbaro will serve a minimum term of 30 years in jail.

In sentencing, Justice King said he was at the top of a “very well organised worldwide criminal group”.

“You, Pasquale Barbaro were at the apex of that criminality, at the very top of the tree in this country,” she said.

“Your purpose in attempting to possess the goods was to ensure financial riches of a quite astronomical order.”

Barbaro’s co-accused, Saverio Zirilli, 55, was sentenced to 26 years in jail with a minimum of 18 years.

Both men were also convicted of attempted possession of nearly 100 kilograms of cocaine, hidden in bags of Columbian coffee beans.

Four others have been found guilty of one count each of conspiracy to possess a commercial quantity of MDMA.

Ecstasy life sentence appeal rejected

Posted Thu 20 Dec 2012, 4:40pm AEDT

A man who was involved in Australia’s biggest ecstasy haul has failed to have his sentence reduced by Victoria’s Court of Appeal.

Pasquale Barbaro was charged after millions of ecstasy tablets hidden in tomato cans, were intercepted by Australian Federal Police in 2008.

Barbaro was given a life term in February with a non-parole period of 30 years, but appealed against the severity of the sentence.

The appeal was rejected last month, and can be reported now because a non-publication order has been lifted.

4 thoughts on “Two men jailed for importing $122 million worth of ecstasy from Italy in tomato tins

  1. All those names go back to Trimbole at Griffiths in the 70’s finally got them all .How the hell did they think they could get away with that, greed is the ruination. going to be very old if they live it out, crazy,


  2. What a bunch of greesy fucking nobodies. $122 million of e in tomato tins… genius… hey we’ll never get caught hahahahaha greedy dumb motherfuckers hahahahah 30 years hahahahahahaha superb. Die in hell you drug dealing greesy pieces of Melbourne crime shit,


  3. But the Honoured Society – Italian Mafia with its control all over Australian States and in and out of the Prisons – The night life of the Gold Coast, Sydney, Perth- and the Trimboles, Barbaros, Sergis, Zerillis, and other connections and families in Griffith and their connections in Melbourne, from the 1970,s till the present ” ICE AND MDMA Pills” epidemic and the shyster current Carlton Crew Melbourne Crime Shitheads, and 1%ER Outlaw Bikers, nightclubs and controlling the Unions, corrupt Police- Politicians- Lawyers and Outlaw Bikers and Construction Industries, as has been mentioned many times before on this Aussie Criminals pages. These” Mr Bigs, or Top of the Tree” well organised worldwide criminal group – are so much bigger than ever in the past and continue to grow, even though so many of them are now running their empires behind bars of the Maximum Security Jails, like Tony Mokbel does from H.M.Barwon Prison , to their outsider connections – Mr Bigs – and are still living the high life of the Un-touchables , of or from the proceed of “Laundering from Drug Organised Crime INC” and by being involved in the cover of legitimate shady businesses, by appearing to keep their hands clean from organised crime and drug trafficking – All these years after the contract murder and silencing of Griffith Anti Drugs Campaigner Donald Mackay. Just think of the secrets that loyal Painters and Dockers – hit man “James Frederick -Gentleman Jim – Bazley” will take to the grave with him, rather than DOG or talk to police and name, names and open a big can of worms on Mafia organised crime, and Police Corruption protecting trafficking of Marijuana and Heroin, cocaine, as was the 1970,s, And 1980,s and 1990,s – now in 2014 it is the party pills MDMA and Crystal Meth – ICE, and as well , still the speed, marijuana and heroin and cocaine!…… So much endless dirty money being made from the Pushing of Drugs!…….How many of the Shipping containers that go through all the Australian Ports and docks are slipping through full of Drugs, un detected?…. This was just one shipping container found with drug hidden in it! How many do Customs not detect or let slip through the ports!…….Every Shipping Container is packed as tight as sardines, with sealed cardboard boxes and cargo, it would be easy to hide drugs in them, because every container is not going to be unpacked and repacked, in the chance of finding drugs!…. A random container is checked out, but most containers continue being trucked on their journey un-checked to their final destination, after leaving the waterfront Ports?…. This find by Customs, was just the tip of the ice-burg!……Have a look at how many containers are loaded on and off just one ship. That’s how easy it is for drugs to be smuggled into and out of any shipping port in the world?….Some are detected, but most would not be!…It would be impossible to search so many shipping containers!. And the Drug traffickers all know this fact!……..
    Mexico and Columbia, Italy, Greece and all the Asia and Middle East, European, Russian Drug Cartels just keep the drug shitheads business booming. Recession Proof!………Keeping people junkies!……….The cycle of Crime!


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