NSW police lay charges after joint investigation into large-scale interstate drug supply

Criminal Groups Squad investigators have laid further charges following a joint investigation into the large-scale supply of prohibited drugs across state borders and money laundering offences.

Earlier this year, officers from the State Crime Command’s Criminal Groups Squad, with assistance from Queensland Police (QPOL), commenced inquiries into the interstate transportation of illicit drugs between NSW and Queensland.

Joint inquiries revealed an organised criminal syndicate was operating a light aircraft to facilitate the movement of prohibited drugs and cash across the country.

Acting on information received, officers from the Criminal Groups Squad’s Strike Force Raptor Highway arrested two men – aged 31 and 32 – during a vehicle stop at Rosehill on Tuesday 1 December 2020.

In a subsequent search of the vehicle, investigators seized more than $800,000 cash, documentation and mobile phones. The men were charged and remain before the courts.

On Monday (14 December 2020), three men – aged 44, 43 and 36 – were arrested in Queensland and charged by QPOL North Brisbane Criminal Investigation Branch investigators attached to Operation Romeo Mugwort.

QPOL detectives subsequently executed eight search warrants across North Brisbane, seizing $1.5 million cash, nearly 40kg of cannabis and 14 firearms.

As part of ongoing investigations, NSW Police Force Criminal Groups Squad detectives arrested a 26-year-old Mardi man outside a hotel at Pitt Street, Sydney, about 7.45pm on Tuesday (15 December 2020).

During a subsequent search of the man, officers located and seized more than $16,000 cash, documentation and a mobile phone.

A short time later, detectives executed two search warrants at a home at Mardi and store at Haymarket, where they seized electronic devices and further documentation.

All items seized during the investigation will undergo further examination.

The man was taken to Day Street Police Station and charged with recklessly deal with proceeds of crime (greater than $5000) and deal with property proceeds of crime.

Police will allege in court the man was involved in laundering money obtained through the supply of prohibited drugs.

He was granted strict conditional bail to appear at the Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday 27 January 2021.

Investigations by the Criminal Groups Squad are continuing.

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