Seventeen charged over $20m drug ring

Police have charged 17 people and seized drugs, cash and assets worth more than $20 million during an investigation into an organised crime ring across Western Australia, South Australia and NSW.

It is alleged the operation detected several senior members operating across the three states with the assistance of a WA truck company and a South Australian driver, who transported methylamphetamine and cannabis.

Police seized 16.4kg of methylamphetamine, about 23.5kg of cannabis, more than $1.7 million in cash, three handguns and a rifle.

Assets worth more than $14 million were frozen including 19 properties in WA and SA, 31 bank accounts totalling about $1 million, 71 share holdings, five luxury vehicles and one cabin cruiser boat.

Detectives executed 15 search warrants in WA and SA, including extraditing three people from SA to face court in WA.

Of the 17 people charged with the 51 offences, seven are considered to be in charge of the alleged drug syndicate, and 12 will face drug trafficking charges.

Detective Inspector Chris Adams said law enforcement agencies across all jurisdictions worked together to target people involved in illicit drug distribution.

“It is not often we are able to promote the great work undertaken by the teams of officers that target organised crime syndicates, however seizures such as this show the community that police are actively targeting the bigger players in organised crime, and that our approach to intelligence gathering mixed with information from the community can lead to great results,” he said.

“Being able to work closely with South Australia Police, the Australian Crime Commission and other key law enforcement agencies, based in Australia and overseas, has been critical to our success.”

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