Police have charged two people and seized drugs, cash, an imitation firearm and illegal tobacco following an investigation into the importation of border-controlled drugs by a Malaysian syndicate.
The joint three-month investigation involved members from Victoria Police’s Icarus and Trident Taskforces, Australian Border Force (ABF), Australian Federal Police (AFP), Department of Home Affairs and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
The investigation commenced after ABF officers working in air cargo and the International Mail Centre detected a number of suspicious consignments between April and September 2021. The consignments were found to contain imported drugs including cocaine, heroin, ketamine and methamphetamines.
Police executed search warrants at two residential properties in Craigieburn and a business premises in Epping early on Tuesday morning.
They subsequently seized a significant quantity of cash, illegal tobacco and a rolling machine, cartons of cigarettes, methylamphetamine, an imitation firearm, credit/debit cards in various names and a money counting machine, amongst various other items.
A 26-year-old Craigieburn man was charged with money laundering offences, bring into Victoria an imitation firearm, possess imitation firearm and possess proceeds of crime.
A 39-year-old Craigieburn man was charged with money laundering and structuring offences, possess a marketable quantity of border-controlled drug reasonably suspected of having been unlawfully imported, traffick a controlled drug and possess proceeds of crime.
Both appeared before Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.
Police will allege over $700,000 was remitted to accounts in Malaysia.
Anyone with information about illegal drug activity is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au
Joint task forces Icarus and Trident are staffed by members from Victoria Police, the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force, the Department of Home Affairs, Australian Transactions Reporting and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) and were set up to detect, deter and disrupt serious and organised crime utilising mail and cargo systems and on the state’s waterfront, respectively.