Melbourne – The Malaysian police joined forces with their Australian and Singaporean counterparts to rout an international crime syndicate distributing the drug, methamphetamines across three countries, said South Australian (SA) police.
‘Operation Jacknife’ saw the SA police arrest 16 people, members of two SA-based biker groups – the Rebels and the Finks – and seized drugs and weapons in a series of intelligence-sharing and operations which began last year.
The international police operation involved officers from the Royal Malaysian Police, Singapore Central Narcotics Bureau and the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
The suspects were arrested on offences related to drug manufacturing, drug trafficking, firearms offences and electricity theft, and were part of a syndicate exporting controlled drugs and precursors from Malaysia to neighbouring countries and SA, the police said in a statement.
In May, the police raided six properties in Malaysia and arrested 24 people and seized a range of drugs along with seven luxury vehicles and gold jewellery valued at a total of RM1.4 million.
ASP Rajendran Kanasan of the Royal Malaysian Police Narcotics Crime Investigation Department said his organisation had shown commitment to working with Australian police on transnational crime.
He said the Malaysian police shared intelligence collected over time with the Australian police.
“The arrests in both Malaysia and South Australia demonstrate the tangible benefits of international cooperation in fighting transnational crime,” he was quoted as saying in a statement issued by SA police.
SA Assistant Police Commissioner Paul Dickson said the operation had brought to an end a ‘joint enterprise’ led by two outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCGs) to bring methamphetamine into SA.
“We know OMCGs don’t hesitate to carry out violent crimes against one another, but this is clear evidence that when there is money and drugs involved, they’ll put aside their differences and work together for the proceeds of crime,” he said in statement.
“But this co-operative approach by law enforcement authorities has shut down that enterprise. It’s been an extremely positive outcome for communities both in Australia and Malaysia through the seizure of drugs and these arrests,” Dickson said.
SA police searched 19 properties in SA and seized 900g of methyl amphetamine, 58 cannabis plants, 17kg of dried cannabis, 1,150 ecstasy tablets, 12gms of cocaine, 40gms of cannabis resin, 250ml of fantasy, 4.6 litres of hypophosphorous acid (allegedly used in the manufacture of methamphetamine), two firearms and prescribed equipment used for the hydroponic production of cannabis.
Dickson said ‘Operation Jacknife’ began last year when police noticed a number of people travelling regularly to Malaysia.
He said the amphetamines seized in SA equated to about 30,000 street deals, while 4.6 litres of the precursor, hypophosphorous, equated to about 120,000 street deals.