Joint investigation takes down international drug ringTuesday, October 22, 2013 by: Kate AdamsOPP News Release
ORILLIA - At a news conference on September 25, 2013, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Commissioner Chris Lewis, Toronto Police Service (TPS) Deputy Chief Mark Saunders and Mr. Goran Vragovic of Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) revealed details of Project INFINITY.
Due to complexities and the ongoing international investigation that was continuing by members of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, Victoria Police and the Australia Crime Commission, the Ontario Provincial Police, Toronto Police Service and Canadian Border officials recognized that there was a "Canadian Connection" to an elaborate scheme that was unfolding in Australia and were able to provide assistance. Investigators from Project Infinity worked closely with the Australian Authorities over an 18 month period.
On Sunday, October 20,2013, Australian authorities concluded an 18-month long investigation that resulted in the arrest of 10 people and saw approximately 1.9 tonnes of a pseudoephedrine and vanilla powder mixture seized.
The Australian investigation, which authorities identified as Operation Diamondback, culminated with the arrest of a 46-year old Canadian man as he was checking in on a domestic flight to Sydney, to meet a connecting flight back to Canada on Sunday.
Following the arrest, a search warrant was executed in Melbourne where a 27-year old male and 30-year old female were arrested. It is believed that these three people were members of a drug syndicate that was responsible for distributing the pseudoephedrine and vanilla powder mixture to criminal organizations in Australia, who would then use it to make methamphetamine in clandestine laboratories.
All three have been charged with Trafficking a Large Commercial Quantity of a Drug and were scheduled to appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday, October 21, 2013.
Acting OPP Commissioner Scott Tod has stated, “with respect to this great news from Australian authorities this past weekend, I am very happy to see that the drugs and the precursors that are used to make them will not make their way to streets around the world. Both Project Infinity and Operation Diamondback serve as a great example of how law enforcement agencies around the world are collectively working to combat the illicit drug trade. This is proof that when it comes to illegal activity, borders and oceans are not barriers when it comes to the purest form of law enforcement.”
For further information regarding this investigation, please visit the Australian Federal Police Media Centre website at: www.afp.gov.au or the following link to their media release: