Two people in Sydney and Brisbane were arrested after multiple search warrants were executed yesterday in relation to the operation, AFP’s Commander of Organised Crime, Kirsty Schofield, told reporters.
The operation involved the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force, the Greek Cypriot Drug Law Enforcement Unit and the United Kingdom National Crime Authority.
The AFP was alerted to the potential large scale importation of the drug by authorities in South Cyprus and the cargo was intercepted by the Australian Border Force.
The MDMA found inside the barbecues was replaced with an “inert” substance as police investigated the alleged drug syndicate, the AFP said.
A 30-year-old man from Coomera in Queensland was arrested at a Bondi Junction apartment in Sydney, and $100,000 in cash found inside the premises seized.
The AFP also arrested a 33-year-old Canadian man in Brisbane last night.
The man arrived in Australia last Tuesday and allegedly traveled to a Sydney warehouse to inspect the barbeques, the AFP said.
“We will allege in court that he was sent by the syndicate responsible for the MDMA to check on aspects of the importation,” Commander Schofield said.
The Canadian man will face court today with a view to extraditing him to NSW to face charges.
Commander Schofield said the seizure was a significant result for public safety.
“The size of this seizure and the amount of harm it could potentially have caused cannot be understated, and the Australian community is safer for it not being on our streets,” she said.