Detectives from the Echo Taskforce have arrested five people as part of an ongoing joint agency investigation into a drug trafficking syndicate linked to the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gang.
Detectives from Victoria Police Crime Command along with Australian Border Force, the Australian Federal Police and detectives from Victoria Police’s North West Metro region executed search warrants at properties in Caroline Springs, Aberfeldie, Greenvale, Hillside and Kew from 6am this morning.
Three men were arrested including a 20-year-old Aberfeldie man, a 21-year-old Greenvale man, and a 30-year-old Kew man.
A 27-year-old Caroline Springs man, who is alleged to be an officer bearer of the Comanchero OMCG, and a 25-year-old Caroline Springs woman were also arrested by police last night.
All five will be interviewed by police.
Police also seized a number of items during the raids including cash, drugs and stolen vehicles.
These arrests form part of a 10-month investigation into the importation of border controlled substances and large commercial level trafficking within Victoria.
The syndicate involved has also been linked to two non-fatal shootings and a vehicle arson in Reservoir in early June 2019.
Police and the ABF have already seized the following items as part of the investigation:
• 1.975 tonnes of 1,4 Butanediol
• 100kg of P2P, a pre-cursor chemical used in the manufacture of methyl-amphetamine and amphetamine
• Over 10kg of ketamine and analogue narcotics, which mirror the effects of amphetamine-based substances
On 13 August, two men were arrested in connection with the seizure of a significant quantity of1,4 Butanediol.
Warrants were subsequently executed at commercial premises in Campbellfield and Altona where almost two tonnes of the substance was located.
A 32-year-old Reservoir man and a 30-year-old Kew man were both charged with attempt to traffick and possess a large commercial quantity of 1,4 Butanediol.
On 4 September a 21-year-old man was arrested in Broadmeadows in relation to the vehicle arson in Reservoir on 4 June.
During that arrest, police uncovered a firearm which is currently being forensically tested.
The man was charged with prohibited person possess firearm and possess drug of dependence.
Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Lloyd from the Echo Taskforce said today’s arrests were an excellent result.
“Today is about ensuring that those within these organised crime groups are held accountable for their criminal actions and show that police will actively work to disrupt their activities,” he said.
“Victoria Police has been working closely with our Federal partners since December 2018 to identify those responsible for the trafficking of these substances.
“The links to the shootings and arson also highlight how often we see drugs and firearms intrinsically linked within these organised crime groups.
“Ultimately, this is a syndicate who have caused immense harm within Victoria – not only through the sale of drugs to the community but also through indiscriminate use of firearms.”
ABF Superintendent of Investigations for Victoria/Tasmania, Nicholas Walker, said the joint investigation had prevented a significant amount of harmful drugs reaching the streets of Victoria.
“The level of collaboration between State and Federal law enforcement partners has never been higher, and this is another great example of how we are successfully working together to target organised crime syndicates,” Superintendent Walker said.
“The ABF is actively focused on protecting our borders and has an ongoing commitment to our joint-agency work to detect, deter and disrupt criminals from bringing illegal drugs into Australia.”
Detectives are continuing to investigate the firearms and drug matters and are appealing for anyone who has further information about these incidents to come forward.
Anyone with information is urged contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au