Chicken truck carrying 120kg of cocaine leads to syndicate bust

A crime syndicate using a frozen chicken truck to transport 120kg of cocaine was caught out after being pulled over on the Hume Highway; leading to the subsequent seizure of another 350kg of drugs.

The chicken truck was tracked by police on August 24, before being stopped and inspected. The cocaine was found concealed in the cargo.

Two men have been arrested following the investigation into an organised crime syndicate, allegedly importing and distributing tens of millions of dollars of illicit drugs into Melbourne and operating a drug ‘safe house’.

The driver of the truck, a 23-year-old from Narre Warren South, was arrested and charged with trafficking a large commercial quantity of cocaine.

On October 19, police seized a further 50kg of cocaine in Cairnlea, when investigators identified a potential ‘drug safe house’ the syndicate was allegedly using to store drugs.

On October 24, police executed a number of search warrants in Windsor, Southbank and Keysborough, resulting in the arrest of a Windsor man, 42, and the seizure of evidence allegedly linking the syndicate to the distribution of almost half a tonne of methamphetamine and cocaine.

The Windsor man was identified as a key member of the syndicate and subsequently charged with trafficking a large commercial quantity of methamphetamine and cocaine, which attracts a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Both men could face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

“The two people arrested for this offending are involved in an organised crime syndicate that has brought considerable harm to the Victorian community,” said Victoria Police acting commander Paul O’Halloran.

“However it’s not only about the drugs – the money they bring into these syndicates also helps facilitate a myriad of other serious and violent offending. Time and time again we see the impact illicit drugs have at all levels, whether that’s assaults, burglaries, drug driving, right through to the health impacts.

“We are sending a strong and clear message today to organised crime. We will not stop. We will target you. We will disrupt the syndicates responsible for these imports.

“Alongside our law enforcement partners, Victoria Police will continue to make it as difficult as possible for these syndicates to bring harm to Victoria.”

AFP commander Raegan Stewart praised the work of Victorian Joint Organised Crime Taskforce investigators. “These are significant seizures taken from a syndicate we will allege was experienced, well-resourced and proficient in their illegal trade – yet this operation shows how we could get one step ahead of them,” he said.

“Investigations into the criminal syndicate involved remain ongoing. We are conducting enquiries with law enforcement agencies overseas and in Australia, and urge anyone with any information to please come forward before we knock on your door.”

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