Sat, 03 Jun 2023

Third man jailed over multi-million dollar cocaine import

Australian Federal Police
10 May 2022, 16:04 GMT+10

Editor's note: Images of the cocaine are available via Hightail.

A Croydon Park man has been sentenced to 11 years and eight months' imprisonment at Sydney's Downing Centre Local and District Court over a 2018 seizure of almost 60 kilograms of cocaine.

AFP investigators began Operation Razorclaw in July 2018 after identifying a suspected drug smuggling syndicate operating in NSW.

On 11 October 2018, the AFP intercepted the 42 -year-old Croydon Park man and a 45-year-old Burwood man as they drove in a convoy through Leppington, southwest Sydney. Police located 56.49 kilograms of cocaine in the Burwood Park man's vehicle and found both men in possession of encrypted mobile phones. On the same day, the AFP attended a semi-rural property in the neighbouring suburb of Austral, arresting a 34-year-old Maroubra man.

A search of the Austral property uncovered a further 58.41 kilograms of cocaine - hidden inside a generator imported into Australia from South Africa - as well as another encrypted mobile phone.

Officers also seized a 9mm Beretta semi-automatic pistol at a residence in Croydon Park.

The total amount of cocaine seized during Operation Razorclaw is worth an estimated street value of $115 million.

Senior Constable Claudia Lindsay said this operation should send a strong warning to criminals that if you participate in illegal activities, the AFP will catch, arrest and prosecute you.

"The size of this seizure and the amount of harm it could potentially have caused cannot be understated," Senior Constable Lindsay said.

"This investigation was a significant blow to organised criminal groups operating in NSW."

In October 2020, the Croydon Park man pleaded guilty to:

A joint commission charge of possessing commercial quantities of border controlled drugs reasonably suspected of having been unlawfully imported pursuant to 307.8(1), by virtue of section 11.2A(1), of Criminal Code (Cth); and Possess a pistol, to wit, Beretta 9mm semi-automatic pistol, not being authorised to do so by a licence or permit contrary to subsection 7(1) of the Firearms Act 1996.

The man was sentenced to 11 years and eight months' imprisonment, with a non-parole period of five years and six months. He will be eligible for parole in October 2027.

In May 2020, the 45-year-old Burwood man received a maximum sentence of eight years and six months' imprisonment, with a non-parole period of four years and nine months. He will be eligible for parole in July 2023.

The 34-year-old Maroubra man received a maximum sentence of nine years imprisonment, with a non-parole period of five years. He will be eligible for parole in October 2023.

A fourth man has been arrested in connection to this importation. Details of this arrest are available here.

Media enquiries

AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297

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