Two more Australians arrested in connection to an international $301 million MDMA bust

Two more Australians have been arrested and charged in connection to a major joint international MDMA drug investigation originating in The Netherlands in 2019. The pair are accused of being members of an Australian-based criminal syndicate who attempted to take possession of 150kg of MDMA in Queensland in 2019.

Investigators allege the two men travelled from Sydney to Queensland in October 2019 to meet with a representative of a Netherlands-based criminal syndicate to acquire the illicit drugs. The duo have been charged with serious drug offences, including attempting to possess a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs and dealing with the proceeds of crime.

The Queensland Joint Organised Crime Taskforce (QLD JOCTF), working with the National Police of the Netherlands (NPN) Criminal Investigations Division, has charged 11 people and seized MDMA with an estimated street value totalling AUD $301.6 million.

Following an extensive operation QLD JOCTF officers, working alongside officers from the NPN seized 700kg of crystalline MDMA in Rotterdam on 23 August, which was allegedly bound for export to Queensland.

As a result of extensive investigations into a sophisticated criminal syndicate search warrants were executed at 15 locations in the Netherlands and Belgium on 5 November. These search warrants uncovered concealed laboratories and 50 tonnes of precursor chemicals for the production of MDMA.

In total authorities seized approximately 850kg of crystalline MDMA and 548 litres of MDMA Oil from locations in the Netherlands and Belgium. With an estimated street value of AUD $301.6 million, this quantity of drugs had the potential to be processed into over 15 million MDMA tablets in Australia.

Information and images sourced from: Australian Border Force & Australian Federal Police