Australian authorities said Friday they have dismantled an international organized crime syndicate with operations across Asia, leading to the arrest of 27 people and the seizure of drugs worth millions of dollars.
Federal and state police said they had seized some 42 kilograms (92 pounds) of drugs along with $4 million Australian dollars ($4.2 million) in cash, in an operation spanning more than five Asian countries.
Along with the haul were residential properties worth $5 million Australian dollars, $600,000 in casino chips, $10,000 worth of jewelry, 99 designer handbags and wallets and a Lamborghini.
The investigation, dubbed as Operation Volante, targeted a longstanding crime gang accused of importing and trafficking substantial quantities of heroin and methamphetamine into and around Australia, reports AFP.
Police conducted search warrants at 37 sites across Melbourne this week, including homes, warehouses, car shops, accountant offices and security boxes.
“We know that ‘ice’ (methamphetamine) availability has been increasing in our streets,” Victoria state police Assistant Commissioner Stephen Fontana told AFP.
“The dismantling of this organized crime syndicate, we expect, will dramatically affect that availability,” he added.
Australian Federal Police Commander David Sharpe said investigators had been “following the money trails, removing the wealth and cutting off distribution networks in Australia and internationally”.
“This investigation is not over,” Sharpe said.