Police: Sydney duo imported heroin and meth worth $250m in tea bags



Two men have been arrested in connection to a drug plot to import 400 kilograms of meth and heroin into Australia in tea bags.

In March last year, 225 kilograms of methamphetamine and 175 kilograms of heroin were found in air freight from Malaysia.

The nearly half-a-tonne seizure had a street value of more than $250 million, and is linked to the global Operation Ironside where authorities gained access to an encrypted phone network used by criminals.

This week NSW Police arrested two men linked to the plot, including a 47-year-old Hunters Hill man who was stopped from boarding a flight to Bangkok on Thursday.

Later that afternoon police stopped a 47-year-old Putney man who was arrested and his Audi SUV seized.

The Hunters Hill man has been charged with six offences, including importing a commercial quantity of drug, while the Putney man has been charged with three offences, including a similar drug import charge.

‘We know what you did’

Police will allege a fake hospitality company was created so drugs could be imported under the guise of tea.

During the searches of two homes – one in Putney and another in Hunters Hill – police seized cash and electronic devices.

Detective Superintendent Robert Critchlow said Operation Ironside, which involved the Australian Federal Police and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, continued to deliver.

“This should be a warning to anyone who used the ANOM phones to conduct illicit activities,” Det Supt Critchlow said.

“We know what you did and we’re working backwards to find you, then prosecute you.”

Both men were refused bail in local courts on Friday and are due back at the Central Local Court on Wednesday.


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