More than 1 Tonne of MDMA Seized, 6 Men Sentenced

The final member of a syndicate related to an importation of one tonne of MDMA into Sydney in 2020 has been sentenced by a Sydney court.

The 24-year-old Cabramatta West man was sentenced to seven years and six months’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of three years and nine months, by the Downing District Court on 1 April 2022.

This sentencing brings the combined sentences of the six syndicate members to more than 26 years’ imprisonment.

The MDMA was seized after ABF officers detected anomalies in a shipping container that arrived from South Korea on 11 January 2020.

ABF examined pallets laden with 648 plastic tubs labeled as tile adhesive. Hidden in 176 of the tubs of adhesive were bags of a powder that tested positive to MDMA. Each tub contained approximately six kilograms of MDMA powder. The total weight of the illicit drugs seized from the shipment was 1,051kg.

After this was found, AFP officers began a controlled delivery operation, starting with the substitution of the MDMA powder with an inert substance. The container was delivered to Camperdown, where a 27-year-old Canadian national took delivery and unpacked the consignment from the container.

It was identified that the man was staying at a rented premises in the western Sydney suburb of Rooty Hill. On 5 February 2020, the man met with another 27-year-old Canadian national in the Sydney CBD, before both travelled back to Rooty Hill. The second Canadian man had arrived in Sydney on 4 February 2020.

It will be alleged in court that over the next month, both men periodically travelled into Camperdown to extract portions of the substituted powder from the consignment and prepare it for further distribution to Australian-based customers.

Investigators collected evidence of multiple meetings and alleged handovers of the substituted MDMA between the two Canadian men and a 29-year-old from Hong Kong who resided in Kingsford. It will be alleged in court that this Hong Kong man was responsible for distributing the shipment to other people in Sydney for eventual sale on Australian streets.

On Friday, 28 February 2020, members of the AFP – assisted by ABF and NSW Police Force members – executed search warrants in the Sydney suburbs of Carlingford, Wentworth Point, Cabramatta West, and Cabramatta, targeting the alleged recipients of the substituted MDMA from the shipment.

At the Cabramatta West and Cabramatta addresses, police located and seized substances suspected to be MDMA, cocaine and approximately three kilograms of methamphetamine. Police also seized an estimated $250,000 in cash, two loaded firearms – including an automatic shotgun with a drum magazine and a Browning 9mm semi-automatic pistol – false identification material and ammunition.

At the Carlingford and Wentworth Point addresses, police seized material alleged to be substituted MDMA removed from the original shipment, other drugs including MDMA and cocaine, electronic devices, and ammunition.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Kirsty Schofield said the AFP continued to deliver results for the Australian community in the fight against transnational serious organised crime.

“Despite efforts by criminal networks to evade detection, authorities are continuing to identify and disrupt the syndicates who attempt to flood our communities with these dangerous drugs,” Assistant Commissioner Schofield said.

Information and images sourced from here