Canadian man arrested for smuggling 645 kilos of ecstasy in barbecues
A six-month joint law enforcement operation in Sydney, Australia has resulted in the seizure of 645 kg of MDMA and the arrest of two people, one of whom is Canadian.
According to a joint media release between Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force, a 33 year-old man from Ontario and a 30 year-old Australian man were arrested and charged Monday over their involvement in the criminal enterprise to import MDMA.
"The size of this seizure and the amount of harm it could potentially have caused cannot be understated, and the Australian community is safer for it not being on our streets," said AFP Commander of Organized Crime Kirsty Schofield.
The investigation began back in July when Cyprus Police obtained information about the potential export of a large amount of drugs from Cyprus to Australia.
Authorities in both countries then worked together and managed to intercept a container with 200 aluminum barbeques, which were found to be filled with MDMA once deconstructed.
When the Canadian man flew to Australia last week to collect the drugs, he was unaware that authorities had managed to intervene and replace the MDMA — which was being held in the barbeques in a warehouse — with a different controlled substance.
"We are grateful to our partners in Cyprus and the UK for their willingness to help us as we seek to identify those responsible for this consignment — we will always try and work our way up the chain of organised crime syndicates seeking to profit from exploiting our community," Schofield said.
"The reality is these drugs put strain on our health services and our economy, they tear apart families and the illicit proceeds fund organised crime. It is our job to protect Australia from to these threats."
In addition to the MDMA, approximately Aus$300,000 in cash and 3.5 kg of cocaine was seized following multiple search warrant executions.
Police say the investigation remains ongoing and is expected to lead to further arrests.
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