Australian police smashes major drug ring in Melbourne

10:42, August 12, 2010      

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Australian police on Thursday said they have smashed a major drug ring, seizing millions of dollars worth of heroin, 2.5 million dollars (2.24 million U.S. dollars) in cash and arresting 12 people around Melbourne.

Victoria Police, along with the Australian Crime Commission ( ACC), executed search warrants at 14 properties in inner and western suburbs from 5am (AEST) on Thursday.

Police said they have taken possession of heroin believed to have a street value of several million dollars and have seized around 20 million dollars (17.94 million U.S. dollars) worth of residential and commercial real estate.

The raids capped off a 10-month operation, one of the largest of its type, investigating a suspected organized crime syndicate involved in importing and distributing drugs.

The 12 people arrested, nine men and three women, are aged between 25 and 60.

Head of the Victoria Police Drug Task Force, Detective Inspector John Potter, said the arrests highlight the effectiveness of multi-agency cooperation.

"As a result of this joint operation we believe we have been able to disrupt the activities of a significant drug and organized crime syndicate operating in our state," Potter told ABC Networks on Thursday.

"Operations such as this should send a clear message to crime syndicates that Australian law enforcement is working together and will target anyone who thinks they can break our laws.

"These joint operations have proven to be an incredibly powerful and efficient way of tackling the activities of criminal networks."

Police said there is potential for further arrests and drug seizures.

Source: Xinhua


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