A phone call from a vigilant member of the community kicked
off an investigation that led to a record seizure of 585kg of
ice worth more than $A430 million in Sydney.
A member of the public contacted NSW police after witnessing
what they thought was suspicious activity at a storage
facility in West Ryde.
The information was received by authorities in September last
year, leading a joint organised crime group to launch an
investigation into a possible drug importation.
The Asian Crime Squad, the Australian Customs and Border
Protection Service then detected a number of suspicious
shipping container arrivals into Sydney over the next several
Last week, on February 22, authorities detected a container
from southern China that had the drugs hidden inside
one-tonne bags of chemicals used in cleaning products.
The drugs were removed, replaced with a similar quantity of
an inert substance, allowed to continue on their journey.
On Wednesday, three men were arrested at a warehouse in
Regents Park in western Sydney, where they were attempting to
remove the dummy substance.
"None of it would have happened if it wasn't for that one
phone call from the community," NSW police Commissioner
Andrew Scipione said on Thursday.
A 32-year-old Singaporean national, a 51-year-old man from
Hong Kong and a 21-year-old Australian man from Canley
Heights have been charged with a range of offences, including
attempting to possess a commercial quantity of a
The maximum penalty for the offences is life imprisonment
and/or a fine of $1.275 million.
The Australian citizen was born in New Zealand and is of
All three men will appear in Sydney's Central Local Court on
In addition to the arrests, police executed six search
warrants across Sydney, which included properties in Regents
Park, Bexley North, Wakely, Canley Heights, Beverly Hills,
This seizure of ice nearly doubles the previous record haul
of 300 kilograms in July last year.
Federal home affairs minister Jason Clare and NSW police
minister Mike Gallacher congratulated
Australian law enforcement agencies on the historic seizure
in a joint statement.
"In particular, I would like to recognise the incredible work
of the NSW Police Force and the NSW Crime Commission who
initiated this investigation," Mr Gallacher said in the
"I am especially pleased that our reforms to the structure
and focus of the NSW Crime Commission has seen its return as
one of this nation's leading and trusted law enforcement