Huge drugs, cash haul as cops smash international syndicate

 

Almost 200 marijuana plants, more than $200,000 in cash, and 1kg of methamphetamine have been seized by Sydney police as part of investigations into an international money-laundering syndicate.

Police raided homes in Heckenberg, Villawood and Cabramatta on Wednesday as detectives from the NSW State Crime Command and Operation Salzburger pounced.

Three people were arrested and charged with various drug supply and money laundering offences following the execution of the three search warrants.

 

The Heckenberg raid in Sydney's west uncovered 168 marijuana plants as part of an extensive hydroponic set-up.

A 54-year-old man was arrested and charged with enhanced indoor cultivation of a plant for commercial purposes.

He was refused bail to appear at Liverpool Local Court on Thursday.

Police also allegedly seized two firearms, a sawn-off rifle and pen gun, more than $20,000 cash and a large quantity of hydroponic equipment during searches at the Villawood and Cabramatta homes.

Police lead one of the arrested men away following the raids. Picture: NSW Police
Police lead one of the arrested men away following the raids. Picture: NSW Police

The seizures come after a man and a woman was arrested and charged last week when investigators stopped a vehicle on Park Rd, Marrickville, and spoke to the 59-year-old male driver before allegedly finding $50,000 in the car.
A short time later a 30-year-old woman was arrested on the same street, with police seizing her mobile phone.

Detectives then searched two homes at Petersham and Heckenberg where they allegedly found $160,000 cash, methamphetamine, money counters, financial ledgers, documentation, electronic devices, and mobile phones.

Police swarmed the properties as the investigation heated up. Picture: NSW Police
Police swarmed the properties as the investigation heated up. Picture: NSW Police

Police charged the man with knowingly supply a prohibited drug, large commercial quantity, and knowingly deal with the proceeds of crime. He was refused bail to appear at Newtown Local Court on August 8.
The woman was charged with recklessly deal in the proceeds of crime. She was granted conditional bail to appear at Newtown Local Court August 8.