Wed, 03 Jun 2020

Third person jailed over 1.9 tonne bust

Australian Federal Police
20 May 2020, 18:04 GMT+10

A 42-year-old Sydney man has become the third person jailed for their role in an international crime syndicate that conspired to import more than 1.9 tonnes of illicit drugs from the Netherlands in 2017.

The man was sentenced to 30 years' imprisonment in the Downing Centre District Court today (20 May 2020) after pleading guilty to a number of drug importation and money laundering charges. He was given a non-parole period of 18 years.

The man is the third person jailed as the result of the Australian Federal Police's (AFP) Operation Veyda, which began in mid-2016. A 37-year-old was sentenced to more than 18 years' imprisonment last month, and a 40-year-old man was sentenced to more than eight years' imprisonment in November 2019.

The major investigation successfully dismantled two interlinked organised crime syndicates operating across Australia, the United Arab Emirates and Europe.

A total of 1.8 tonnes of MDMA, 136 kilograms of cocaine and 15 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine was seized by authorities in the Netherlands, before it could be transported in shipments bound for Australia.

More than $5.4 million dollars identified as proceeds of crime was also seized.

The man sentenced today was arrested by authorities in Dubai on 8 August 2017, before being extradited to Australia in relation to the matter.

On 18 December 2018, he pled guilty to the following charges:

Conspiracy to import 800kg of MDMA contrary to sub section 11.5(1) and 307.1 (1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); Conspiracy to import 1149kg (combined MDMA, Cocaine and Methamphetamine) contrary to sub section 11.5(1) and 307.1 (1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); Dealing in the proceeds of crime, money being AUD1.8 million contrary to 400.3 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); Dealing in the proceeds of crime, money being AUD2.25 million contrary to 400.3 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and Dealing in the proceeds of crime, money being AUD2.86 million contrary to 400.3 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

A further 20 Australians were charged as part of the investigation. Six Dutch nationals were also arrested by the National Police of the Netherlands (NPN) for their roles in the syndicate.

Operation Veyda included assistance from the New South Wales Police Force, UAE Ministry of Justice, the Dubai Public Prosecution Office, Dubai Police, the UAE Federal Customs Authority, Dubai Customs, the NPN, the National Public Prosecution Office of the Netherlands and Hong Kong Customs and Excise, along with Australian Border Force, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney-General's Department.

For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services, call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.

Previous media statements and vision/images relating to this matter can be found here.

Media enquiries

AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297

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