ACC release - Katakan - follow-up by alendar

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									1 October 2004
                                MEDIA RELEASE

      FURTHER ARRESTS AND SEIZURES FROM AUSTRALIAN CRIME
               COMMISSION-LED JOINT OPERATION

This information is further to the media release (issued Tuesday, 28 September
2004) on the A ustralian Crime Commission and Australian Federal Police (AFP)
investigation, Operation Katakan, assisted by Australian Customs Service,
Queensland Police, Victoria Police and the NSW Joint Asian Crime Group.

On Wednesday 29 September and Thursday 30 September, a further nine
locations in Melbourne were searched, leading to the seizure of approximately
400 grams of heroin, 60 grams of cocaine, a drug press and cash and casino
chips to the value of $108,000.

One additional person has been charged in Melbourne with trafficking a
commercial quantity of narcotics and possessing a prohibited import.

In Sydney, an alleged member of the drug trafficking syndicate , a Canadian
national, has been arrested and charged by the NSW Joint Asian Crime Group
(which includes members of the AFP, Customs, NSW Police, NSW Crime
Commission and the ACC) with the importation of a prohibited substance.

The Canadian national is alleged to have imported the narcotics into Sydney for
the syndicate to courier to Melbourne .

‘This joint operation has successfully disrupted two major organised crime
syndicates involved in importation and cross-border trafficking of narcotics,’ said
ACC Chief Executive Officer Alastair Milroy.

Summary of Operation Katakan: June 2003 – September 2004
Operation Katakan commenced in June 2003 after heroin was seized en-route
from Sydney to Brisbane.

In July 2003, the ACC commenced a joint investigation with the A ustralian Federal
Police into the activities of an organised crime syndicate allegedly involved in the
importation and distribution of narcotics.

Queensland Police, Australian Customs Service, Victoria Police and the NSW
Joint Asian Crime Group assisted the operation.

The Katakan operation has resulted in 17 arrests, the seizure of approximately 4
kgs of heroin, 8 kgs of cocaine , small quantities of ecstasy, amphetamines and
cannabis, a number of drug presses and the restraint or seizure of $370,000 in
cash, $7 million in assets, properties valued at $8.6 million, 14 vehicles and
restricted weapons.

‘I congratulate those involved in this investigation, and thank partner agencies for
their operational support and expertise,’ Mr Milroy said.

ENDS

Media Inquiries:
ACC Media                                        02 6243 6648 or 0419 263 528

								
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