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Source: Australian Federal Police

Two Sydney men have today been sentenced to 13 years and 7 months, and 15 years and 2 months imprisonment following an Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigation into a transnational crime syndicate that conspired to import more than 1.9 tonnes of illicit drugs into Australia.

The 39-year-old Arncliffe man and the 43-year-old Bankstown man pleaded guilty to attempting to import a commercial quantity of border-controlled drugs.

The Arncliffe man was sentenced to 13 years and 7 months imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 8 years.

The Bankstown man was sentenced to 15 years and 2 months imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 8 years and 9 months.

The two men are the last of five offenders charged with attempting to import 800kgs of MDMA as part of Operation Veyda. A 42-year-old Sydney man was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment in May 2020, a 37-year-old Punchbowl man was sentenced to more than 18 years’ imprisonment in April 2020, and a 40-year-old man was sentenced to more than eight years’ imprisonment in November 2019.

The major investigation successfully dismantled two interlinked organised crime syndicates operating across Australia, the United Arab Emirates and Europe.

1.8 tonnes of MDMA, 136 kilograms of cocaine and 15 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine was seized by authorities in the Netherlands, before it could be transported in shipments bound for Australia.

More than $5.4 million dollars identified as proceeds of crime was also seized.

A further 20 Australians were charged as part of the investigation. Six Dutch nationals were also arrested by the National Police of the Netherlands (NPN) for their roles in the syndicate.

Operation Veyda included assistance from the New South Wales Police Force, UAE Ministry of Justice, the Dubai Public Prosecution Office, Dubai Police, the UAE Federal Customs Authority, Dubai Customs, the NPN, the National Public Prosecution Office of the Netherlands and Hong Kong Customs and Excise, along with Australian Border Force, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney-General’s Department.

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