News Police

Police smash crime group

EIGHT men are in police custody after detectives investigating terrorism funding, uncovered an illicit tobacco importation syndicate operating in Sydney’s south-west.

In November 2017, Strikeforce DeHaar was formed to investigate terrorism funding in NSW and allegedly uncovered an organised criminal syndicate involved in the importation of illicit tobacco, drug supply and money laundering.

Following extensive inquiries, Strikeforce DeHaar arrested two men aged aged 38 and 39 at Sydney Olympic Park about 8.15am yesterday. During a search of the 39-year-old man, police located $12,000 in cash.

A short time later, 19 criminal organisation search warrants – at homes, businesses and storage units – were executed across south west Sydney, including Bankstown, Yagoona and Punchbowl, where a further six men aged 27 to 42 were arrested so far in the operation which is continuing.

Police will allege in court that the group took part in the supply and distribution of more than seven tonnes of tobacco products, worth more than $1.8 million.

The group also allegedly facilitated the illicit importation of 475,000 packets of cigarettes.

Police will also allege the group laundered more than $1.2 million in proceeds of crime.

Anyone with information in relation to suspected terrorism should always come forward, no matter how small it may seem. The National Security Hotline is 1800 123 400.