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Australian police seize large amount of ecstasy oil, arrest three Sydney men

(Xinhua)

17:07, September 21, 2011

SYDNEY, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Three Sydney men have been arrested during a police drug bust in Sydney, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said on Wednesday.

The AFP said the three male Australian nationals were arrested during an operation involving more than 50 police officers in Sydney on Wednesday morning.

They have been charged over the seizures and are scheduled to appear in the Sydney Central Local Court on Thursday.

The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and the AFP have dismantled a Sydney organized crime syndicate, potentially stopping more than 2.3 million ecstasy tablets from hitting the nation's streets, the two law enforcement agencies said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

More than 2,800 liters of safrole oil, labeled as liquid hair and cleaning products from China were intercepted in three separate shipments that arrived at Sydney's Port Botany between April and August.

It was Australia's largest seizure of a banned precursor chemical used in making the drug ecstasy, the AFP said.

The banned chemical could have been used to produce almost 235 kg of ecstasy with an estimated street-value of more than 70 million AU dollars (71.78 million U.S. dollars).

"This is a significant blow," AFP Assistant Commissioner Kevin Zuccato told reporters.

"As far as I'm concerned, a lethal blow to this particular syndicate."

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