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Nine people have been arrested and Australian federal police are said to have rounded up a cocaine syndicate with links to a Colombian drug cartel and local outlaw motorcycle gangs.

Officers raided a cocaine production facility in the Queensland country overnight, which had already extracted 11 kilograms of the illegal substance hidden in imported goods.

Commander Kate Ferry says the property is outside of Durong, a city in Queensland, inland from the Sunshine Coast.

The group had the resources and know-how to produce hundreds of kilograms of cocaine at the 600-square-foot facility.

“This syndicate was a ruthless, resource-rich cartel that went to great lengths to hide from Australian law enforcement,” Ms Ferry said Friday.

“(The raid) sends a message that wherever you are, you are not out of reach of the Australian Federal Police.”

Ms Ferry said the investigation was still in its infancy.

It had started after a NSW-based person who was monitoring the police met a Colombian or Spanish national who had allegedly been sent from abroad by a cartel.

This man teamed up with a Colombian-born Australian citizen, who was also arrested overnight, to make the cocaine while police watched the group set up the production house, she said.

A drug mule was caught outside Newcastle on his way to Sydney with 11 kilograms of the manufactured cocaine. This man was not known to the police.

Others arrested are said to have ties to Australian outlaw biker gangs.

On Thursday night, raids were made in the Northern Territory, Queensland and NSW, involving both federal and local law enforcement officers.

The first batch of cocaine was hidden in unspecified imported goods, with Ms Ferry saying the concealment method was “sophisticated and designed to detect interests of law enforcement agencies”.

“These are international companies, international corporations, who have the opportunity to come to Australia and dictate what happens in Australia,” she said.

– MONKEY



Federal police raid house linked to cartel – UK Time News

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