Parsley Bay on the Hawkesbury River near Brooklyn, was the scene of a massive drug bust which resulted in the arrest of three alleged drug syndicate members said to be responsible for one of the biggest cocaine rings in Australian history.
The Christmas day swoop was the result of a 30 month investigation by an international multi-agency operation which resulted in the seizure of 500kg of cocaine in NSW and a further 600kg haul in Tahiti, destined for Australian shores.
The hauls have a combined estimated street value of approximately $360 million, police said.
Dozens of heavily armed police hid in the bushes at Parsley Bay as a small motorised dinghy pulled up to the boat ramp in the cover of darkness, with 500kg cocaine on board.
The boat’s owner and two others there to meet him were all arrested while unloading their cargo.
Other syndicate members were arrested at a boat moored at nearby Brooklyn Marina and a further nine several days later at various addresses around Sydney.
Acting Australian Border Force Assistant Commissioner Tim Fitzgerald said transnational criminal networks were well-resourced. “As we improve our capabilities to detect drugs in sea and air cargo, we know they will continue to evolve and employ sophisticated efforts to breach the Australian border,” he said.
“By working closely with each other and our international partners, Australia’s law enforcement agencies have been able to combat those increasingly sophisticated methodologies.” All 15 men have been refused bail on charges of importing or conspiracy to import drugs.