Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Three men have been arrested and approximately five kilograms of border controlled precursors have been seized following a 14 month joint investigation involving the NSW Police Force State Crime Command Firearms Squad, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS).

A 29-year-old man from Parklea and a 43-year-old dual Australian/Iranian national are alleged to have imported approximately five kilograms of pseudoephedrine from Iran, via the international freight and mail systems concealed in shipments of loose tea. 

A 34 year-old man from Green Valley, is alleged to have been the intended recipient of the pseudoephedrine. 

The Parklea man is also alleged to have received an earlier air cargo consignment of tea which contained approximately 20kg of pseudoephedrine in August of 2014.

These arrests are the result of a 14 month investigation into the supply of pseudoephedrine in South Western Sydney commenced by the NSW Police. Pseudoephedrine is used in the manufacture of methamphetamine and other illicit drugs.

Yesterday, (Saturday) the dual Australian/Iranian national was arrested at Sydney Airport upon his return to Australia from Iran. The 29-year-old Parklea man and the 34-year-old Green Valley man were arrested a short time later. 

Three search warrants were executed on premises and vehicles with ammunition, handcuffs and cash seized.

The men have been charged with the following:

The 29-year-old Parklea man was charged with:

  • importation of a commercial quantity of border controlled precursors
  • supplying a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug
  • supplying a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug
  • possess prohibited weapon without a permit
  • possess ammunition without holding a licence.

The 43-year-old Australian/Iranian national was charged with:

  • importation of a commercial quantity of border controlled precursors
  • supplying a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug 

The 34-year-old Green Valley man has been charged with:

  • knowingly take part in the supply of a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug 

The commander of the NSW Police Force Firearms Squad, Detective A/Superintendent Joe Doueihi said tackling this drug continues to be a priority for the NSW Police Force. 

“This has been a drawn out investigation due to the complex and well disguised methods used by an international organised-criminal syndicate," he said.

“The tenacity and skill shown by investigators to discover the methods used and then dismantle the syndicate has been exemplary. 

"It shows that the NSWPF is committed to fighting organised crime and our reach is significantly extended, particularly when working cooperatively with federal agencies.

“This is a significant seizure of precursors. It could have been used to manufacture up to 30kg of 'ice' (methylamphetamine), with an estimated potential street value of $6.5 million."

AFP Manager of Crime Operations, Commander Jennifer Hurst said that the 14 month operation was a great demonstration of the coordination between the three agencies over an extended period resulting in the arrests of three men. 

“Yesterday’s arrests should serve as a timely reminder to those considering importing drugs. Agencies are working together stronger than ever to ensure that drugs do not make it to the streets and that those responsible for the importation of drugs are brought to justice," said Commander Hurst.  

ACBPS Regional Commander NSW, Tim Fitzgerald, said that this result showcased the hard work of Customs and Border Protection officers in combatting attempts to traffic prohibited items across the border.

“This collaborative cross-agency result highlights our commitment to the fight against illegal importations as we continue to use every tool at our disposal to detect and uncover such activity,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

The offences carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 25 years.

All of the men will appear at Parramatta Local Court today (Sunday 15 February 2015).

Media enquiries: 
AFP National Media     (02) 6131 6333
ACBPS Media              (02) 6275 6793
NSW Police Media       (02) 8263 6100

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