Eighteen men, involved in an organised crime syndicate were arrested and charged with more than 80 offences. This was the end result of a 12 month long Polaris waterfront task force operation.
Investigation was initiated on the alleged criminal activities of an individual who worked on the Port Botany waterfront. This was further widened to a number of associated persons involved in drug trafficking, weapon possession and supply and drug cultivation.
On the basis of the investigation 20 search warrants have been executed at locations across Sydney and the NSW south coast. This culminated in the arrests of 18 persons who will face a total of 81 charges. Investigation also included three search warrants at the homes of three suspects and received evidence in relation to drug trafficking and importation.
According to Nick Bingham, Polaris Taskforce commander Detective Superintendent the operation’s outcomes brings out the success of the Polaris waterfront taskforce. This also shows effective the cooperation between agencies and its ability to control organised crime syndicates within Australia and overseas.
Detective Superintendent Bingham said that from one small piece of information this investigation expanded to a wider area. The investigation team was able to make dozens of charges and seize weapons, drugs and cash. He appealed to the community, especially those working at waterfront facilities.
As result of this exercise 18 persons were charged with 81 offences, seized 73kg of prohibited drugs, 31kg of precursors and 150 cannabis plants. It also resulted in the aeizure of 14,600 cigarettes, seizure of $893,139 cash believed to be the proceeds of crime and seizure of 22 firearms and in excess of 3000 rounds of ammunition. Polaris Taskforce has not disclosed name of any Sydney customs broker in this case.
The men arrested were charged with offences relate to the supply, possession and manufacture of prohibited drugs and precursors. This included possession of instructions and apparatus for the manufacture of prohibited drugs, possession of unregistered or prohibited firearms supply of firearm, possessions of ammunition without authority, possession of stolen goods, possession of property from proceeds of crime, possession of explosives, directing activities of a criminal group, participate in a criminal group and contribute to criminal activity, recklessly deal with proceeds of crime and hindering an investigation.