Three Sydney men are accused of importing cocaine lollies and methylamphetamine lollipops.
The men, aged 21, 31 and 49, were arrested in dawn raids on Wednesday at homes in Dee Why, Macquarie Park, and Collaroy Plateau and taken to Manly police station on the northern beaches for questioning.
Australian Border Force officers say they intercepted three packages from the US that contained lollies laced with methylamphetamine and cocaine at the Sydney Gateway Facility mail centre last November.
Police from Sydney’s northern beaches established Strike Force Arced to investigate with help from The Department of Home Affairs and US Homeland Security.
Authorities say between November and March they seized 5.83 kilograms of methylamphetamine and 655 grams of cocaine, contained in 16 parcels bound for the northern beaches, Parramatta, Macquarie Park, Chatswood and Ryde.
The seizures – which have an estimated street value of $3.5 million – included methylamphetamine packaged as lollipops and cocaine pressed as lollies.
Northern Beaches Police Area Commander, Superintendent Patrick Sharkey, said the drugs posed a significant risk to the community.
“The manufacturing and packaging of these drugs was sophisticated; and they could have easily been mistaken for the sweets … by both children and adults,” he said in a statement.
“It is very concerning given the drugs were uncut and had a potency that could potentially cause serious injury or death if ingested.”
ABF International Mail, Cargo Clearance & Systems Support NSW Superintendent John Fleming said ABF officers were alert to the tactics used by criminals.
“Criminals might think that by using a scattergun approach to sending numerous packages containing drugs to different locations the packages will be missed by ABF officers, but that’s not the case,” he said.
“The ABF are always on the look-out for prohibited items being smuggled in goods like clothing, household goods, or in this case food items.”