Four men are scheduled to appear before the Sydney Central Local Court today (18 September 2017) to face charges relating to their alleged involvement in international criminal syndicates.
All four Australian nationals were arrested on 8 August 2017 in Dubai during two multi-national law enforcement operations. They arrived in Australia after being extradited from Dubai last night.
Three of the men were arrested as part of Operation Veyda – including a 39-year-old from Vaucluse, a 43-year-old from Dover Heights, and a 34-year-old man from Punchbowl.
Operation Veyda culminated in the AFP, with assistance from NSW Police, dismantling two interlinked crime syndicates operating across Australia, Dubai and the Netherlands, resulting in 18 arrests and the seizure of more than 1.9 tonnes of narcotics destined for Australian streets.
A 47-year-old man, who was a resident of the United Arab Emirates, was the fourth man to be extradited, following his arrest as part of Operation Astatine.
Operation Astatine was an investigation by the NSW Joint Organised Crime Group (JOCG), resulting in ten arrests allegedly connected with the importation of 200kg of MDMA and 15 million illegal cigarettes. On the day of resolution a further 80kg of cocaine and in excess of $740,000 AUD were seized. The NSW Joint Organised Crime Group comprises the AFP, NSW Police, Australian Border Force, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and NSW Crime Commission.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan, National Manager Organised Crime and Cyber, said these extraditions would not have been possible without extensive cooperation and coordination from a number of different agencies.
“These operations have truly demonstrated the reach of Australian law enforcement around the world, and should serve as a message to organised crime syndicates that you are not untouchable,” Assistant Commissioner Gaughan said.
“The Dubai authorities have offered an unprecedented level of support to help facilitate these operations and ensure these extraditions have run smoothly; this marks the first successful extradition from the U.A.E on behalf Australian law enforcement.”
NSW Police State Crime Commander, Assistant Commissioner Mal Lanyon, said the success of the investigation relied on strong, collaborative law enforcement relationships.
“Transnational organised crime is an international issue, which needs to be tackled at an international level, so our policing and law enforcement partnerships are more important than ever,” Assistant Commissioner Lanyon said.
“We are not naive enough to think our job is done; the community can be confident that we will continue to target anyone who engages in criminal activities that impact on NSW, no matter where in the world they are based.”
Those involved in successfully resolving these operations overseas include the UAE Ministry of Justice, the Dubai Public Prosecution Office, Dubai Police, UAE Federal Customs Authority, Dubai Customs, the National Police of The Netherlands, the National Public Prosecution Office of The Netherlands, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and Hong Kong Customs and Excise.
Partner agencies involved in Australia include the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, ACLEI and AUSTRAC.
The four men will be charged with a range of offences, including:
- Conspiracy to import a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug contrary to sub-sections 11.5(1) and 307.1(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.
- Dealing in proceeds of crime and money worth $1,000,000 or more, contrary to section 400.3(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is 25 years imprisonment.
- Possession of imported tobacco products with the intent to defraud revenue contrary to section 233BABAD(2) of the Customs Act 1901(Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is 10 years imprisonment.
- Supply a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug contrary to section 25(2) of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985(NSW). The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.
- Take part in the supply of a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug contrary to section 25(2) of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW). The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.