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Friday, March 3, 2023

Australia's Biggest Drug Bust: Nearly $700 Million Worth of Cocaine Seized from Boats

"Socalj" for Borderland Beat

US and Australian law enforcement seized of 2.4 tons of cocaine that police allege was linked to a Mexican drug cartel. A dozen people have been arrested.

Police have revealed details of a covert international operation that stopped 2.4 tons of cocaine, worth AUD$1 Billion, from reaching Western Australia, in what is believed to be the nation's biggest-ever drug bust.

The investigation, dubbed "Operation Beech", has led to the arrest of 12 people with alleged links to the Mexican drug cartel. WA Police Commissioner Col Blanch said the operation spanned six weeks and involved intensive surveillance and resources. "This was an opportunity to catch the syndicate — the group of people that were capable of receiving it, landing it, and then distributing it across Australia," Commissioner Blanch said. "The message from the WA Police Force is unchanged … we will come after you, regardless of where you live on this earth."


Police dropped fake drugs into the ocean as part of the operation.

Switched for Fake Cocaine


The US Drug Enforcement Administration intercepted 2.4 tons of cocaine bound for WA off the South American Coast in November. Intelligence suggested the alleged drug traffickers were unaware of the seizure and the Australian arm of the syndicate was expecting to receive the shipment around December 28. WA Police substituted the cargo for fake cocaine using identical packaging and dropped it 40 nautical miles west of Perth while keeping an eye on it using drones and helicopters.


 
It is alleged that the syndicate used two boats, Catalina and Cool Runnings, to make several attempts to find and retrieve the cargo.




Operation Beech

On December 30, Tactical Response Group officers arrested three men onboard the Cool Runnings with approximately 1.2 tons of fake cocaine, after the boat had washed up on the beach near Moore River, 70km north of Perth.


It is alleged that others, onboard the Catalina, went looking for Cool Runnings, towing it back out to sea to transfer the fake drugs, before Cool Runnings sank.

Police used drones and helicopters as part of the covert operation to track the smugglers.


12 arrests were made including US citizens in Australia.

The Arrests

Raids were carried out across Perth, including on the Catalina at Hillarys Boat Harbour, as well as various hotels. The 12 people who have been arrested are from WA, New South Wales, the Northern Territory, and the United States. 


Following New Year’s Eve, another man was arrested and charged with attempting to possess 200 kilos of cocaine. Police also stopped a vehicle on the Great Eastern Highway, near Coolgardie, where they found more than AUD$2 million in cash. They charged a 39-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman allegedly connected to the syndicate.

Operation Beech was a joint effort between the WA Police Force Transnational Serious and Organised Crime Squad and the Sydney Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration, with assistance from other state policing jurisdictions.

WA Deputy Commissioner Tony Longhorn said implementing collaborative and innovative strategies in police intelligence would be key to tackling future drug activity. "It's a confidence booster … every time we do these operations we're testing the limitations of our capabilities," the Deputy Commissioner said.

"The criminal syndicates are changing up the game all the time, and we have to change up ours."

Sources ABC.au, The Australian

36 comments:

  1. Australia is a lesson to all on the price of drugs per logistics.. Grams of coke are at least $100USD whereas grams of meth were said to fetch even more.. I have read and heard that in places like Hong Kong, a gram of coke can go upwards of $200 USD per gram.. with kilos being at least $100,000 per…

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gram’s of meth. Can be created anywhere especially in the Far East!! Here in San Diego 800, 1000 per pound!!

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    2. san diego 600 per pound

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    3. Now you know why Tsi Lop, the Chinese Chapo, made billions from all that meth…

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    4. 100$ gram would be cheap for Australia

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    5. So kg of Coca in aus goes for 300k Australian dollars. Few months ago was 500k

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    6. Iowa qt. pound is 400 for meth and 650 for half ounce coke

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  2. Grams go for 400/500 in Aus

    ReplyDelete
  3. Don Mencho is not gonna be happy, even though thats pocket change for him

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    Replies
    1. 10:54 o ok than he is not gonna capp anyone, thats a good thing

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    2. Likely it was Italians… or Calabrians to be precise… They have been heavy in Australia since the 70s*

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    3. Puro siderno

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    4. 12:10 This article literally says Mexican cartel

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    5. Mencho es un naco que no sabe nada m√°s que sembrar terror. Eso no sirve para la tranza internacional.

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    6. Australia is dominated by Middle Eastern and Italian organized crime. The load was Mexican everybody and there mother are trying to move Cocaine to Australia.

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    7. 11:47 uhi perdon Mr Fifi

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  4. Too much talking on the phone

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. “Can you hear me now?”

      “I said ONE TON of COKE”

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    2. "Yeah, it's coming by boat. No, not goat. I SAID BOAT! BOAT! What? No, this line is safe. Don't worry."

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  5. How the hell are first world nations still trying to stop cocaine trafficking ūü§¶

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    Replies
    1. 12:21 We're all ears... present your solution.

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    2. Canada is going to start producing cocaine test trial

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    3. 12:25 Solution to what? Stop trying to stop cocaine trafficking. It’s that fucking simple.

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    4. 2:20 I heard. Good on them.

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    5. 2:20 Damnit. False alarm
      https://www.cbc.ca/amp/1.6767257

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    6. Not stoping it. Just rerouting everything.

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    7. 11:47 yeah seemed a little fishy especially with all the underground guys left over from the Bud trade. There's a huge price gap between Canada and US bud markets I would not be surprised if smuggling operations existed

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    8. 4:19 Solution to what the OP said. Your answer is not a solution. It's that simple.

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    9. 4:24 I am OP and my suggestion wasn’t some sweeping solution for the the drug problem. Drugs will always be a problem with humans. My point is they need to just give up on the cocaine thing. Focus on other shit if you must but forget about trying to stop weed, psychedelics, MDMA and coke at the very least.

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  6. $200 a gram? I wish, I’m in Sydney and it’s $400-$500 and I’ve payed $600 a gram when it’s dry and supply is hard to find.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You actually paid that much? Damn. Reminds me of when I saw college girls on social media doing coke in Australia a few years ago but they were clearly rich af and privileged.

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    2. Is that in Australian money?

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    3. 12:16 no canadian

      Delete

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