Mass arrests in Australia after huge crime bust

Cornelia Mascio
Giugno 8, 2021

Mr Morrison said he hoped the operation would provide a level of paranoia to those who have yet been caught by authorities, fearing they may have dealt with someone identified on the app.

According to the AFP, intelligence gathered from the decrypted messages led to the arrest of 224 suspects on more than 500 charges and the seizure of 3.7 metric tons of drugs and almost $35 million in cash over the past three years in Australia.

Offenders are linked to the Australian-based Italian mafia, outlaw motorcycle gangs, Asian crime syndicates and Albanian organised crime figures.

"Essentially, we have been in the back pockets of organized crime and operationalized a criminal takedown like we have never seen", Kershaw said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the AN0M operation "puts Australia at the forefront of the fight against criminals who peddle in human misery and ultimately, it will keep our communities and Australians safe".

"Let me be clear".

"All they talk about is drugs, violence, hits on each other, innocent people who are going to be murdered".

The messages were brazen and there was no attempt to hide behind any kind of code, he said.

More than 9,000 law enforcement officers were involved across 18 countries.

"We were able to, with the cooperation of that particular state police force, take out that individual before they were able to do that".

The 33-year-old was charged last week following a raid at a Kangaroo Point home, where police allegedly seized 154g of meth.

More than 300 NZ staff - including National Organised Crime (NOCG), Armed Offenders Squad, Special Tactics Group, Asset Recovery, High Tech Crime and Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Central and Wellington District staff - executed 37 warrants yesterday.

Detective superintendent Greg Williams said 35 people had been arrested across the country on 900 "serious drug dealing, money laundering and other conspiracy-type charges" and were due to appear in court Tuesday.

Senior members of the Comancheros in Waikato, Mongrel Mob in Waikato and the Head Hunters were among those arrested.

A total of 525 charges have already been laid but authorities expect more in the coming weeks.

It was supposed to be the underworld's impenetrable communication tool, a digital safe space to plot crimes ranging from drug trafficking to murder away from the prying eyes of the law.

Executing Australia's largest number of search warrants in one day, police on Monday seized 104 firearms as well as nearly A$45 million ($34.9 million) in cash.

In the past three years, NZ Police had found up to 20 organised crime groups that had been carrying out crime across global borders.

He said in Australia police had been able to frustrate drug operations and prevent incidents such as mass shootings in suburbs.

"We believe the termination of these operations will have a significant impact on New Zealand's organised crime scene".

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