Three men have been arrested after $20 million worth of cocaine was allegedly smuggled into Australia inside a jukebox.
The 45kg consignment from Greece was detected by Australian Border Force officers and tracked to a home at Sunshine North in Melbourne’s west.
A 39-year-old Spotswood man, a 26-year-old Reservoir man, and a 66-year-old Greek foreign national were arrested by Victoria Police and Australian Federal Police officers on Tuesday.
Police searched the Sunshine North property as well as homes in Spotswood and Reservoir and commercial premises in Toorak and Kingsville.
Two Mercedes-Benz vehicles, a Harley Davidson motorbike, luxury watches, jewellery, clothing, drugs, and a significant amount of cash were seized.
The Spotswood and Reservoir men were each charged with importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug, and attempting to possess a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug.
They faced court on Wednesday and have been remanded in custody. The Greek man was released pending further inquiries.
The men are believed to be significant members of a crime syndicate, AFP Detective Inspector Mark McKiernan said.
“We also know drug trafficking can lead to drug wars in our streets and in source countries, and often law-abiding citizens can be the collateral damage to that violence,” Det McKiernan said.
“Illicit drug trafficking can also bankroll other abhorrent crimes, such as human trafficking and sexual servitude.”
The arrests highlighted continued local demand for drugs, Victoria Police Acting Detective Superintendent Andrew Stamper said.
“Our aim is to ensure we disrupt the organised crime syndicates responsible for these imports, so to charge two people as well as effecting these seizures is extremely satisfying,” he said.
The arrests formed part of a four-month joint taskforce investigation into cocaine imports in Melbourne.
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