Australian Drug Raid Nets $350,000 in CryptocurrencyJune 8, 2018 10:26 pm
Police in New South Wales, Australia a 33-year-old man who was accused of running a dark web drug empire and seized more than $350,000 worth of cryptocurrency, according to iT News.
Officers from Strike Force Bergmark, Operation Odin and the state crime command’s cybercrime squad announced the arrest on Friday after executing a warrant in Vaucluse, a suburb of Sydney.
There they “seized cocaine, computers, mobile phones, a diamond ring, $70,000 cash and $350,000 worth of cryptocurrency.”
The task force was established earlier this year to investigate a suspected drug syndicate running a “drug importation ring.”
Police said they found drugs including MDMA, cocaine, ketamine, and more that were being sent to Australia from Europe through the post.
“With the assistance of Australian Border Force, Australian Federal Police and other interstate policing jurisdictions; several dozen suspicious packages were tracked and intercepted arriving into NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia from January this year,” authorities said.
The man was “charged with 45 counts of import commercial quantities of border controlled drugs, supply commercial quantity of prohibited drugs, direct a criminal group and recklessly deal in proceeds of crime”, according to a police statement.
He was refused bail while appearing at Waverley Local Court.
Police said the man is the leader of an Australian arm of the international syndicate which “distributed illicit drug packages across Australia.”
NSW Police said a second search warrant was also executed “at a financial institution in the city and documents were seized” in relation to the arrest, though no further details were provided.
–WN.com, Maureen Foody