The Australian Federal Police will use months of encrypted conversations to claim that a 38-year-old Sydney man conspired with a 41-year-old Sydney man to import around 314 kg of heroin – worth $ 117 million – from Thailand to Australia.
But on July 5, the Thai Customs Authority allegedly seized the drugs, hidden in dozens of paint drums in an outgoing shipment and hidden in yellow, box-shaped objects.
A month earlier, Australian officers raided the 41-year-old’s Cambridge Park house and allegedly intercepted several encrypted communications devices.
On July 16, the AFP seized several encrypted communications devices, a finger cleaner, a butterfly knife and a small amount of MDMA in an attack on a Pyrmont residence allegedly tied to the 38-year-old.
On Thursday, police raided, raiding homes in Edensor Park and Cambridge Park, confiscating several secret items and accusing the men of conspiring to import medicines into Australia.
The younger man also faces weapons and drug possession charges.
The AFP said the 38-year-old is on the Australian Priority Organization Target list, which according to the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, details “horse international and transnational targets that play an important role” in Australian organized crime.
She said the AFP was working with foreign networks and partners to reach out to the alleged serious criminals.
“One by one, the AFP and its partners will build the intelligence and evidence against these criminals and bring them to justice,” she said,
ACIC managing director of intelligence operations Robert Jackson said recent sewage tests have shown high heroin use around Melbourne and parts of regional New South Wales.
“The popularity of heroin may not be as pronounced as methamphetamine or cocaine, but even small doses of heroin can have a lethal effect on vulnerable Australians,” he said.
Thai Office of the Narcotics Control Board General Secretary Wichai Chaimongkhon said his organization is pleased to work with the AFP on the operation.
The men stayed behind bars overnight to appear in court on Friday.