Drug syndicate allegedly stashed kilos of ketamine in French vans shipped to Australia

AFP officers watched as the vehicle allegedly containing the counterfeit drugs drove to Yennora in western Sydney. Officers intercepted the vehicle in Smithfield later Saturday.

The men now face a maximum sentence of life in prison if found guilty of the charges.

Authorities are particularly concerned because ketamine, an anesthetic, is used by some as a party drug but also as a sex drug.

“This operation [suggests] “Transnational organized crime groups will ship any substance they think will make money off them, they don’t care about the damage they do,” said Kate Ferry, acting deputy commissioner of AFP.

“[Alleged syndicates] pose a significant threat to Australia’s economy, our security and our way of life.”

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The men applied for bail at Parramatta Magistrates’ Court on Sunday but were denied. They will reappear later this week.

The investigation into the syndicate continues this week.

“This was, quite simply put, an outrageous attempt to import a highly dangerous substance which, if released onto the community, could have caused untold damage,” said Erin Dale, Deputy Commissioner for the Australian Border Force.

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Justin Scaccy

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