A five-month police investigation has lead to the seizure of $4.5 million of heroin and $1.5 million of ecstasy in Melbourne this morning.
The five people arrested are believed to be part of a multi-million dollar, international, organised drug trafficking syndicate.
The Joint Organised Crime Task force, lead by the Australian Federal Police and Victorian detectives has executed 15 search warrants in Wollert, Roxburgh Park, Epping, Bundoora, Essendon, Docklands, Campbellfield, Hadfield, Glenroy, Fitzroy, Meadow Heights, Narre Warren North, Dandenong and Brunswick, will more searches still to be conducted.
Operation Grote began when intelligence identified a longstanding international organised crime syndicate was targeting Australia and New Zealand with heroin.
Those arrested so far in Australia are:
• A 49-year-old man from Wollert.
• A 40-year-old man from Roxburgh Park.
• A 30-year-old man from Docklands.
• A 23-year-old man from Essendon.
• A 20-year-old man from Meadow Heights.
• A 27-year-old man from Epping.
• A 24-year-old man from Narre Warren South.
Simultaneous warrants executed in New Zealand today have seen a 53-year-old Auckland man arrested for drug related offences and is currently being questioned by police.
The Victoria Police Crime Command Assistant Commissioner, Stephen Fontana, said the operation – which has been running since August – has significantly affected “the accessibility of heroin on the street in Melbourne and the subsequent crime which results from it”.
The alleged perpetrators will face charges relating to trafficking a large commercial quantity of heroin in court later today.
The bust follows Australia’s single biggest seizure of ice in NSW last month: 1917kg of ecstasy and 849kg of methamphetamine in a shipping container.
Read more on that here.
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