Two more Australians have been arrested and charged in connection with a major international MDMA drug investigation originating in the Netherlands in 2019. MDMA is commonly known as ecstasy or ‘molly’.
The Sydney men were arrested by AFP investigators on Wednesday as part of Operation Parazonium and extradited to Queensland on Thursday to face charges there. Yesterday (Friday) they appeared before the Brisbane Magistrates Court.
Since 2019, the Queensland Joint Organised Crime Taskforce – which comprises various state and national enforcement agencies – has been working with the National Police of the Netherlands and has so far arrested 13 people, including the two Sydney men.
Ten of the arrests were made in the Netherlands and Belgium, while a 50-year-old Sydney woman was arrested and extradited to Queensland. All of these arrests took place in 2019.
Arrested men are aged 19 and 46
The pair who appeared in a Brisbane court on Friday are accused of being members of an Australian-based criminal syndicate who attempted to take possession of 150kg of MDMA in Queensland on 30 October 2019.
The men, aged 19 and 46, were arrested in Sydney in the early hours of Wednesday morning after police executed search warrants.
They have been charged with serious drug offences, including attempting to possess a commercial quantity of border-controlled drugs and dealing with the proceeds of crime.
In total, authorities have seized 850 kilograms of crystalline MDMA and 548 litres of MDMA oil from locations in the Netherlands and Belgium under Operation Parazonium.
According to police, this amount of MDMA had an estimated street value of A$301.6-million and had the potential to be processed into over 15-million ecstasy tablets in Australia.
Significant win against traffickers
AFP Detective Superintendent Helen Schneider described the arrests of the men as a significant win in the fight against the international illicit drug trade.
“Transnational organised crime networks pose a significant threat to Australia’s economy, our security and our way of life,” Schneider said.
“They see Australia as a lucrative market to target because of the high demand for drugs and the high prices users will pay.
“They do not care about the harm and violence those substances bring, or the damage they do to our communities.”