SYDNEY (9News Australia) – Two allegedly corrupt Australian Border Force officers have been arrested as part of major operation into organised crime spanning Sydney and Dubai and the planned importation of 200kg of MDMA.
At a press conference in Sydney this morning, Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan and ABF Acting Commissioner Michael Outram confirmed former ABF officer Johayna Merhi and current officer Craig Eakin had been arrested for their alleged role in the global drug syndicate.
They were arrested as part of the third major police operation carried out in Sydney on Tuesday.
Eight people in Sydney and one in Dubai have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the plan to import the MDMA, which was the equivalent of 2 million ecstasy tablets worth more than $60 million.
Police will also allege that the syndicate was responsible for smuggling 50 million cigarettes into Australia and actively engaged in money laundering here in overseas.
The third major police operation conducted on Tuesday involved the AFP, ABF, NSW Police, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and NSW Crime Commission.
During the raids about 80kg of cocaine was seized from a home in Rosbery.
A total of $740,000 cash was also seized from properties at Edmonson Park, St Peters, Hurtstville and Arncliffe.More arrests were made in Sydney this morning.
Warrant activity ended this morning, with a further search conducted at a premises in Kempsey on the NSW mid-north coast.
“We will be alleging that these people used their knowledge and expertise to assist the organised crime syndicate family to bring border controlled drugs into Australia,” he said.
“I can confirm that one of these persons is Johayna Merhi who has been a long term associate of the crime family and previously an employee of what was then the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.”
The 47-year-old man arrested in Dubai who police allege was the head of the syndicate is in the process of being extradited.
Carges for those arrested include:More arrests were made in Sydney this morning.More arrests were made in Sydney this morning.
– A Rockdale man, 54, charged with offences relating to drug Importation, directing a criminal Group, conspiracy to defraud, money laundering and smuggling (tobacco).
– Another Rockdale man, 42, charged with offences relating to Drug Importation, Directing a Criminal Group, Conspiracy to Defraud, Money laundering and smuggling (Tobacco).
– An Arncliffe man, 44, charged with offences relating to aid and abet drug importation and participating in a criminal group
– A Mascot man, 58, charged with offences relating to smuggling and dealing with proceeds of crime.
– A Benowa (Queensland) man, 52, charged with offences relating to attempting to possess a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs.
– An Edmonson Park man, 51, charged with offences relating to smuggling and dealing with proceeds of crime.
– A Brighton-Le-Sands man, 42, charged with offences including Smuggling, Bribery, Abuse of Public Office, Assisting a Criminal Group, Unauthorised Access (Computer) and Dealing in the Proceeds of Crime.
– A Hurstville woman, 41, charged with offences including conspiracy to bribe, smuggling, assisting a criminal Group and dealing in proceeds of crime.
– 9News Australia