Detectives have today arrested three men over their alleged involvement in the importation of methylamphetamine and cocaine concealed in lollipops and lollies from the United States.
In early November 2020, Australian Border Force (ABF) officers at the Sydney Gateway Facility mail centre intercepted three packages that arrived in Sydney from the United States containing methylamphetamine and cocaine.
Officers from Northern Beaches Police Area Command were notified and established Strike Force Arced to investigate the importations, with assistance from The Department of Home Affairs and US Homeland Security.
As part of inquiries, authorities seized 5.83 kilograms of methylamphetamine and 655 grams of cocaine, contained in 16 parcels bound for the Northern Beaches, Parramatta, Macquarie Park, Chatswood and Ryde, between November 2020 and March 2021.
The seizures – which have an estimated potential street value of $3.5 million – included methylamphetamine packaged as lollipops and cocaine pressed as lollies.
Northern Beaches Police Area Commander, Superintendent Patrick Sharkey, said the drugs posed a significant risk to the community.
“The manufacturing and packaging of these drugs was sophisticated; and they could have easily been mistaken for the sweets they were disguised as by both children and adults,” said Superintendent Sharkey.
“It is very concerning given the drugs were uncut and had a potency that could potentially cause serious injury or death if ingested.”
ABF International Mail, Cargo Clearance & Systems Support NSW Superintendent John Fleming said ABF officers are aware of the different tactics used by criminals.
“Criminals might think that by using a scattergun approach to sending numerous packages containing drugs to different locations the packages will be missed by ABF officers, but that’s not the case,” Superintendent Fleming said.
“The ABF are always on the look-out for prohibited items being smuggled in goods like clothing, household goods, or in this case food items.”
Following extensive investigations, Northern Beaches detectives with assistance from Operations Support Group, executed search warrants at properties in the Northern Beaches, Sydney’s CBD and Ryde about 6am today (Wednesday 10 March 2021).
During the searches, police arrested three men, aged 21, 31 and 49, at homes in Dee Why, Macquarie Park, and Collaroy Plateau.