Three charged in alleged drug trafficking syndicate
One woman and two men, allegedly involved in a drug syndicate, have been charged with multiple drug trafficking offences after Victoria Police executed warrants in the CBD.
The arrests form part of a four-month investigation involving detectives from the Victoria Police Major Drug Squad and the Australian Border Force (ABF).
It has so far seen police seize about 3.6 tonnes of 1,4-butanediol with a street value of about $7 million; about one kilogram of methamphetamine, and a cache of prohibited weapons, including knives, batons and conducted energy devices.
In the latest development, police executed a warrant at a residential property on Spencer St on August 31 which saw a 33-year-old Melbourne man charged with a string of offences including possess drugs of dependence, possess prohibited weapons, handle stolen goods, and possess identification to commit an indictable offence.
He was bailed to appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on November 3.
Police also executed a warrant at a residential property in A’Beckett St on August 18.
A 27-year-old woman and a 25-year-old woman, both of Melbourne, were charged with a range of offences including trafficking drugs of dependence and handling stolen goods.
A 27-year-old Melbourne man was previously charged on July 8 with trafficking large commercial quantity methamphetamine, attempting to traffick large commercial quantity of 1,4-butanediol and knowingly deal with the proceeds of crime.
He was remanded to appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 3 October.
A 29-year-old Melbourne man was released pending further enquiries.
Overall, the investigation has also seen police seize varying quantities of ketamine, cocaine and MDMA capsules, 250 prescription drug tablets, a small quantity of psilocybin, a small quantity of lysergic acid, other various prescription medications, and 10 high-end designer handbags.
Detective Inspector James Sullivan of the Major Drug Squad said the arrest and seizures highlighted the continued local demand for a range of drugs.
“Ultimately, we really need to challenge attitudes around the use of illicit drugs in the community,” he said.
“Victoria Police will continue to make it as difficult as possible for these syndicates to bring harm to Victoria.”
Detective Insp Sullivan noted the amount of 1,4-butanediol seized was substantial and had the potential to cause immense and possibly fatal harm.
“This is often a drug of choice for users because it’s relatively inexpensive, however it’s highly unpredictable and because it works slowly in the body, we have seen a number of overdoses over the years.”
“Our aim is to ensure we disrupt the organised crime syndicates responsible for these imports, so to charge four people as well as effecting these seizures is extremely satisfying.”
ABF superintendent Dan Peters said the ABF not only had the ability to detect hidden illicit drugs and precursors, but the systems and processes to defeat their attempts to appear as genuine importers of legitimate goods.
Anyone with information about illegal drug trafficking is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. •