Drug raids seize $14m assets
SECLUDED by bushland in a quiet cul-de-sac, just metres from Boambee Headland, this multi-million dollar Sawtell mansion was, until yesterday, home to an alleged major player in a high-level drug syndicate.
On the orders of the NSW Crime Commission, detectives launched a dawn raid on 4 Heron Place, seizing the home, a luxury Porsche, motorcycles and reams of personal documents.
The 52-year-old male owner of the home was arrested in Sydney, as part of one of the largest drug bust and crime operations ever seen in NSW.
At first light more than 500 police conducted simultaneous raids on 37 premises across Sydney, the Central Coast, Mudgee and Sawtell, the strike force arresting 28 men and one woman and two people in Western Australia.
By the end of the day, police had seized 16.7 kilograms of prohibited drugs, 29kg of precursor chemicals, 5848 tabs of LSD, and 30 cannabis plants, as well as four firearms and 600 rounds of ammunition.
Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said the drugs seized up until late yesterday held a total street value of $9 million.
More than $14 million worth of assets has also been seized, including real estate, luxury motor vehicles and a helicopter.
“We haven’t just taken off a tentacle we’ve got the whole octopus,” Commissioner Scipione said.
“We allege that among those that are in custody are a number of major players in the Australian drugs trade,” he said.
Coffs Clarence Crime Manager Detective Inspector Cameron Lindsay said cash and an amount of white powder was also uncovered in the Sawtell raid.
“Coffs Harbour detectives acted on NSW Crime Commission seizure orders and it will be alleged the property seized at Heron Place is the proceeds of crime,” Detective Inspector Lindsay said.
He said the owner of the property would face charges in court of supplying a large commercial quantity of drugs.
A long-time Heron Place resident, who was shocked by yesterday’s police presence said there had never been any indication of drug dealing or manufacture in the street, but at times had wondered about his neighbour’s wealth.