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Drug lab discovered in Sydney home



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July

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2018

Drug lab discovered in Sydney home

afp.gov.au

/news-media/media-releases/drug-lab-discovered-sydney-home

This is a joint media release.

A search warrant during a joint agency operation has uncovered a clandestine drug

production facility at a home in Beverly Hills in Sydney’s south-west.

The area has been deemed safe and there is no identified risk to the community.

Investigators from joint agency Operation Sudwala attended a home in Lakemba, NSW on

Tuesday, 3 July 2018 to execute a routine search warrant for evidence-gathering purposes,

in connection with an ongoing investigation which has been running since 2017.

As part of this investigation in January 2018, police seized 70 litres of methamphetamine

and arrested a 53-year-old Hong Kong national for his alleged involvement in the

manufacturing of the drug. Intelligence provided by New Zealand Police was instrumental

in leading to this activity.

Following this arrest, the joint agency team continued investigations, and on Tuesday, 3

July, Australian Federal Police (AFP), NSW Police Force (NSWPF) and Australian Border

Force (ABF) officers attended a house in Lakemba, and uncovered information which led to

a second property of interest in Beverly Hills, NSW.

Police executed two further search warrants at Beverly Hills properties and discovered a

clandestine drug laboratory, which police allege was being used to extract

methamphetamine from fabric soaked in the substance.

NSWPF State Crime Command Drug and Firearms Squad (Chemical Operations) attended

and assisted investigators at the scene.

During the searches across Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 July, investigators located

approximately 15-17kg of a substance which returned a positive result for

methamphetamine. A quantity of fabric soaked in a substance believed to be

methamphetamine was also located at the scene. An estimated total of 150 litres of liquid

methamphetamine was recovered.

Further forensic testing will be carried out to determine the exact weight and purity of the

substances.

A 51-year-old Chinese woman from Lakemba, and a 56-year-old Chinese man from

Lakemba, were arrested by the AFP and NSWPF, and charged with the state-based

offence of manufacture and production of prohibited drugs, contrary to section 24 of the

Drugs Misuse and Trafficking Act

1985 (NSW).

They appeared before court on 5 July and were remanded to reappear at Burwood Local

Court on 29 August 2018.

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Investigations remain ongoing and further arrests have not been ruled out.

AFP Coordinator Organised Crime, Detective acting Superintendent Mark Webster, said

the discovery of the lab was a result of policing partnerships in action.

“This result is an example of good police work, involving detectives and intelligence

analysts working together from a number of different law enforcement agencies. The

seizure of illicit drugs is significant, as is the level of disruption caused to this criminal

syndicate,” Detective acting Superintendent Webster said.

“There is more work to do to ensure that we make life as difficult as possible for organised

crime syndicates operating in our community. We will continue this fight with our partners

utilising our full suite of capabilities.”

NSWPF Organised Crime Squad Commander, Detective Acting Superintendent Damien

Beaufils, said the key to a real and lasting impact on organised crime is through a reduction

in demand for all illicit commodities.

“All criminal enterprise is motivated by profit, and while ever there is high-demand for

drugs, there will be someone trying to exploit it,” Det A/Supt Beaufils said.

“While collaborative local and international law enforcement operations are having success

in targeting these networks and their activities, we need strong community cooperation to

break the cycle of addiction and ultimately reduce demand for illegal drugs.”

Australian Border Force Commander Investigations Graeme Grosse said working together

with law enforcement partners had again led to a great result.

“An investigation that has led to multiple charges and involved our federal and state law

enforcement partners demonstrates we do not tolerate the importation of illicit drugs

through our border or domestic manufacturing in our community,” Commander Grosse

said.

“The fact is; Australia’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies are united and resolute

in their commitment to combat the illicit drug trade.”

This investigation has involved members of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), NSW

Police Force (NSWPF), Australian Border Force (ABF), Department of Home Affairs (DHA),

NSW Crime Commission (NSWCC) and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission

(ACIC).

Editor’s notes:

Images of the operation are available here

https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/WFV1N0Lig9

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***Details of the connected January 2018 operation are available via the media release:

https://www.afp.gov.au/news-media/media-releases/police-seize-approximately-70-litres-

meth-hong-kong-national-charged

Media enquiries:

AFP Media: (02) 6131 6333.

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NSW Police Media: (02) 8263 6100

ABF Media: (02) 6264 2244

ACIC Media: (02) 6268 7343.

NSW Crime Commission: (02) 9269 3888

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