A 41-year-old Bankstown man was among 17 arrested as part of an operation that has smashed two crime syndicates allegedly operating across Australia, Dubai and the Netherlands.
THREE men from Bankstown, Greenacre and Punchbowl, were among 17 arrested as part of an operation that has smashed two interlinked crime syndicates allegedly operating across Australia, Dubai and the Netherlands, resulting in the seizure of more than 1.9 tonnes of narcotics.
Nine men and a woman were arrested in Sydney early on Tuesday morning, while five men were arrested in the United Arab Emirates by the Dubai police anti-narcotics department in a simultaneous operation.
Those arrested in the United Arab Emirates include a 34-year-old Punchbowl man. Arrested in Bankstown were a 41-year-old man and in Greenacre, a 30-year-old man.
The AFP investigation, with assistance from the NSW Police Force, began in mid-2016, targeting organised crime groups attempting to import large quantities of drugs and tobacco.
Police said 1.8 tonnes of MDMA, 136kg of cocaine and 15kg of crystal methamphetamine, with a potential street value of up to $810 million, was seized by authorities in The Netherlands before it could reach Australia. It will be further alleged that the syndicate worked closely to import the drugs across a number of cargo container shipments between November 2016 and August 2017.
The AFP, with assistance from NSW Police Force, executed 30 search warrants across Sydney, including at Bankstown, Greenacre and Punchbowl. A number of firearms were seized during the raids.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan said the investigation had been underway for more than 12 months.
"For decades this group has flaunted their wealth and activities, telling the community they were untouchable. Today, it should be obvious that they are not," Assistant Commissioner Gaughan said.
Extradition procedures are underway to bring those arrested back to Australia.