tags: Drugs, NSW Police Force, Airports, Aviation, Australian Crime Commission, AFP, ACC,

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By Detective Sergeant Martin Jones

From the March 2013 issue of the APJ.

This article relates to a multi-jurisdictional investigation by the Australian Crime Commission (ACC), in conjunction with State and Federal Police, into drug trafficking from New South Wales to Western Australia, during 2005 and 2006.

The investigation was named Operation Foula and was undertaken by the author and other seconded officers from the NSW Police Force.

The Lead

In 2005, information obtained by the ACC suggested a criminal group was using deficiencies in airport security systems to traffic large volumes of Methylamphetamine (alternatively known as “Ice”) from Sydney to Perth.

The ACC Sydney office was tasked with establishing whether this information was correct and, if so, identifying the origin from which the drugs were sourced and also to detect if any breaches in, or deficiencies of, airport security were allowing a group to transport drugs interstate undetected.

The organiser of the group was believed to be a 25-year-old man from Sydney. He had been released from prison in 2003, after serving two and-a-half years of a six-year sentence for an armed robbery he’d committed on a jewellery store in 2000. During that robbery he had been caught red-handed by police as he left the store with an accomplice and some $300,000 worth of merchandise.

In the two years following that man's release from gaol there was little available information to track down his whereabouts. The only lead we had was the address on his driver’s licence which was his parents’ home in Sydney; however, surveillance conducted at that address had failed to locate him.

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