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NSW Man Busted for Role in an International Darknet Drug Operation

An operation focused on a group of international darknet drug traffickers led to the arrest of the alleged Australian arm of the drug syndicate, an announcement from New South Wales police revealed. Dozens of package seizures led to the suspect’s arrest and indictment with 45 counts of charges connected to drug distribution, importation, and conspiracy.

In February 2018, investigators from Eastern Suburbs Police Area Command created the so-called “Strike Force Bergmark” in response to an influx of intercepted drug packages connected to the alleged drug syndicate. The operation involved the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Border Force, the State Crime Command’s Cybercrime Squad, and numerous local police departments. Law enforcement officers from Operation Odin also helped, the announcement explained.

The Australian Border Force—a law enforcement agency well-known for its drug detection capabilities—tracked dozens of drug packages from Europe to addresses all throughout Australia. The packages primarily arrived to locations in New South Wales, Western Australia, and Southern Australia. The packages contained methamphetamine, MDMA, cocaine, and ketamine. Law enforcement, since the investigation began, seized six kilograms of ecstasy pills, one kilogram of ketamine, five or more liters of liquid MDMA, 800 grams of crystallized MDMA, half a kilogram of methamphetamine, and half a kilogram of cocaine.

Many pieces of information revealed in the press release resembled the information released after the arrest of two international darknet dealers during the Australian Federal Police’s “Operation CROZET.” That operation targeted international darknet dealers who had been selling ecstasy pills, MDMA, ketamine, and cocaine. The execution of two search warrants led to the discovery of drugs not found in the most recent NSW bust—primarily marijuana and testosterone—but the men had not been accused of selling those drugs (or hormones).

Those two dealers had been selling a serious quantity of ecstasy pills, though. Readers might remember the bust due to the Lamborghini Gallardo seizure in one of the raids. Even though the Gallardo sits at the bottom of the list of expensive Lamborghinis (and supercar-looking sports cars), busted darknet vendors have rarely owned such an expensive vehicle. Not that the dealers targeted by Strike Force Bergmark had earned less money, though.

During the execution of the search warrant at the 33-year-old’s house, officers found $70,000 in cash and $350,000 in cryptocurrencies. They also seized jewelry, cell phones, and computers. After they had taken the man to the Waverley Police Station and charged him with 45 counts of supply and import border controlled drugs, directing a criminal group, and dealing with crime proceeds, the police executed another search warrant at an undisclosed location and seized a number of documents allegedly connected to the group’s financial activity.

Earlier this year, police arrested a man connected to the same drug trafficking syndicate. That man—also 33-years-old—is currently in the middle of court proceedings. Officials denied the most recently arrested defendant bail and required him to wait for his upcoming hearing from behind bars.

3 comments

  1. paul schembri aka dutchaussies got pinched because he was talking to nswgreat behind the scenes back in Alphabay days. nswgreat was feeding info to AFP. schembri just found out at his recent committal hearing that AFP got tip offs and knew who it was based on info they had. after committal hearing he became full informant. anyone who ever did any businesses with him has been doxxed. he has also given AFP insight in to supply chains feeding him leading to other busts.

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