Four alleged members of the Rebels bikie gang are among six men charged with importing drugs worth $20 million from the United Kingdom.
The men were nabbed in a series of raids in Queensland, Tasmania and the UK this week, after a high-level investigation led by the Australian Crime Commission (ACC).
The syndicate is alleged to have been involved in sending four packages, containing a total of eight kilograms of amphetamines, from the UK to Australia using an international parcel courier service.
Tasmanian police and Customs officials intercepted two packages, and two others were later intercepted in Queensland.
Tasmanian police said the two packets of drugs were seized in Hobart on June 23 and 24, each weighing 2kg and collectively worth about $10 million.
Police monitored the arrival of the packages and intercepted the drugs before they reached their destination.
When the first shipments failed to arrive, it’s alleged the syndicate ordered two more packets from the UK.
Those parcels arrived in Queensland on the weekend, but authorities say they were ultimately bound for Tasmania, for distribution through the Rebels criminal network.
Police say two men arrested in Queensland were both members of the Tasmanian Rebels Eastern Shore Chapter, but had been living in Queensland.
Three other men were arrested in Tasmania. One of them was said to be a Rebels bikie.
Police in the UK arrested a 27-year-old man from Kidderminster in Liverpool.
The joint investigation was led by the ACC’s Eligo Task Force, which targets serious organised crime, and involved Australia’s National Anti-Gangs Squad, the financial intelligence organisation Austrac, Australian Federal Police and Customs authorities.
Since the Eligo Task Force was set up in 2012, it has seized more than $665 million worth of drugs and assets, including $38.5 million in cash.
The five men arrested in Australia are facing drug trafficking, possession and importation charges, and all are due to front court on Tuesday.
The man arrested in the UK has been released on police bail pending further inquiries.
The agencies involved in the operation will hold a press conference in Brisbane at 1pm.