Over $1 billion worth of illegal drugs set alight in major crime crackdown

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More than $1 billion worth of illicit drugs destined for the streets of NSW have been destroyed, as police continue a major crackdown on organized crime in the state.

Around 1.5 tonnes of drugs, including more than 400kg of methamphetamine and over 500kg of cocaine, were destroyed by police on Wednesday after being seized over the past two years, processed through the courts and safely stored .

Watch the massive transport in the video above

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Organized Crime Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Robert Critchlow said the drugs would have made their way onto the streets and harmed the lives of thousands of residents.

“The combustion of the seized substances is carried out in a furnace, ending the potential harm these drugs could cause in New South Wales and further overseas,” he said.

Over $1 billion worth of illicit drugs destined for the streets of NSW have been destroyed. Credit: New South Wales Police

Critchlow said the illicit substances were confiscated in conjunction with the Australian Federal Police, the NSW Crime Commission and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, who worked together to crack down on organized crime in NSW.

“This partnership exemplifies each agency’s commitment to eradicating these banned drugs from our communities,” he said.

“Detectives will continue to work with our law enforcement partners and our State Crime Command units to root out organized drug trafficking and make our state a safer place.”

Organized Crime Squad officers worked with Highway and Highway Patrol, Bass Hill Area Law Enforcement Squad, Tactical Operations Unit and PolAir to transport prohibited drugs to burn.

Organized Crime Squad officers destroyed the spoils of court proceedings in 2020 and 2021 by burning it. Credit: New South Wales Police/New South Wales Police

It comes as VIC police opened a major drug smuggling operation on Thursday, seizing $20 million worth of cocaine in one of the largest recent drug busts in state history.

Police discovered 45kg of the drug after it was smuggled into Victoria from Greece, hidden in a jukebox.

The lot bears the mark of LeBron James’ famous number, a reflection of its quality, according to the police.

“LeBron 23 refers to the basketball player, I guess that’s sort of the selling point to these unions,” Detective Inspector Mark McKiernan told AFP.

The suspected leaders of an Albanian organized crime syndicate are now behind bars, with two men charged with serious drug offenses and facing life imprisonment.

Watch more on the jukebox drug bust in the video below.

Jukebox contains $20 million worth of drugs.

Jukebox contains $20 million worth of drugs.

According to the police, this breakthrough should be a warning to other traffickers that, no matter how sophisticated their operation, the authorities will catch them.

“You’ll hit our radar and we’ll target you,” McKiernan said.

Police are encouraging anyone with information that could help organized crime investigators to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online.

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