MDMA drug bust worth $145m: police
More than 1.2 tonnes of crystal MDMA has been in seized in Sydney, in what is Australia’s biggest bust this year. Two Polish men, 28 and 29, imported the drugs concealed in a cargo of aluminium rollers from the Czech Republic, Australian Federal Police allege. The MDMA crystals, worth an estimated £145 million on the street, were seized at a storage facility in Hornsby during a joint AFP and Australian Border Force raid on Thursday night.
AFP Deputy Commissioner Operations Justine Saunders said it was the fourth largest drug haul in Australian history and equivalent to more than 4.1 million ecstasy tablets. “The sheer size of this seizure is a real concern. It’s certainly indicative of the drug culture in Australia today,” she said.
“The demand for illicit drugs continues to grow and the desire by organised crime to exploit the demand at the expense of our most precious assets, our youth, continues.” Regional Commander Tim Fitzgerald for Australian Border Force in NSW said a sophisticated concealment method was used in moving the drugs. A consignment of about 110 aluminium rolls arrived in Sydney from Europe on Monday and within those rolls were a number of lead casings concealing the MDMA, he said.
The lead was meant to disrupt drug detection by X-ray. “This particular syndicate went to extreme lengths in attempting to smuggle their narcotics into Australia,” Mr Fitzgerald said. The two Polish nationals each faced court on Saturday charged with importing a commercial quantity of drugs and attempting to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported drug.
Darius Zbroszczyk and Piotr Latusek did not apply for bail and it was formally refused when their cases were heard separately at Parramatta Bail Court. They will remain in custody until they face court again next week. Further arrests are anticipated, Deputy Commissioner Saunders said.
“This has come from the Czech Republic and found its way to Australia, so this is bigger than the two individuals that we have arrested,” she said.