Four charged over alleged criminal syndicate as $6m cannabis seized
A man accused of directing a large criminal syndicate shipping cannabis across NSW has been charged after nearly $6 million of the drug was seized.
The 28-year-old was arrested at a unit in Rhodes, in Sydney’s inner west about 6am.
About an hour later a rural property in Schofields, on the outskirts of the city, was raided and police found about 2000 marijuana plants.
“They seem from the outset that they are a rural property, growing any normal plantation,” Detective Acting Superintendent Jayne Doherty said today.
But detectives instead found cannabis is worth an estimated $5.8 million, and two men and a woman were arrested.
“Each crop is earning this syndicate millions of dollars,” Detective Acting Superintendent Doherty added.
She said the syndicate is allegedly linked to a property in Minto – which was raided last month – and $7 million worth of drugs were seized.
“We’re talking millions of dollars going into serious criminal organised crime… it’s not just cannabis, these groups are funding other criminal activity within our country and that’s why we will take every step to address them and to cut them off,” Detective Acting Superintendent Doherty said.
NSW Police believe additional properties may be linked to the syndicate, and more arrests are likely to follow.
Yao Lim Boo, 28, was charged with eight offences including two counts of cultivate prohibited plant – large commercial quantity – cannabis and three counts of use/consume/waste electricity without authority.
He has also been charged with two counts of enhanced indoor cultivate cannabis for commercial purpose and a count of knowingly direct activities of criminal group.
Police will allege in court that the man directed the activities of an organised criminal syndicate involved in the large-scale cultivation and supply of cannabis across the state.
He was refused bail to appear at Burwood Local Court today.
The other three people arrested today, two men – aged 24 and 29 – and a 39-year-old woman were taken to Riverstone Police Station.
All three were charged with cultivate prohibited plant (large commercial quantity – cannabis), supply prohibited drug (large commercial quantity), participate criminal group contribute criminal activity and use/consume/waste electricity without authority.
Police will allege the group were involved in the cultivation of cannabis at the Schofields property.
All three were refused bail to appear at Blacktown Local Court tomorrow (Wednesday 10 March 2021).
Investigators are working with the Department of Home Affairs regarding the visa status of the group.
Inquiries under Strike Force Hyperion are continuing.