Homes raided in major drug syndicate bust
Police are raiding more homes in Queensland on Thursday as they bust open a major interstate drug trafficking syndicate.
Six people were arrested after six homes were raided in the leafy town of Kuranda in far north Queensland on Wednesday, while police simultaneously swooped on members of the syndicate in Western Australia and South Australia as Operation Scarlett same to a head.
Police are yet to release the details of those arrested in Queensland, but confirmed $112,000 was seized in raids on Wednesday.
The six people arrested on Wednesday have been charged with a total of 20 offences, including trafficking cannabis and possession of proceeds of crime.
In South Australia, police seized four kilograms of dried cannabis, 110 plants and more than $193,000 in cash.
The alleged Adelaide-based leaders of the syndicate were operating hydroponic cannabis "grow houses", then packing and transporting the drug by courier services to distributors in Perth and Kuranda in far north Queensland.
The syndicate, which formed in 2008, allegedly transported more than 4000 kilograms of cannabis interstate in the last year.
"It is believed large amounts of cash were being sent back to South Australia each week as a result," a police spokesman said.
It's alleged 26 packets of cash sent to Adelaide in recent months contained more than $2 million.
In South Australia 37 homes and businesses in Adelaide, the Barossa Valley and Murray Bridge were raided on Wednesday.
"This group have been charged with participating in a criminal organisation, aggravated trafficking of a large commercial amount of cannabis for the benefit of a criminal organisation and money laundering," South Australian Assistant Commissioner Crime Paul Dickson said.
In Western Australia, three people were arrested after police seized more than 22 kilograms of cannabis, $149,950 in cash, ecstasy tables and steroids from five properties.
Raids are continuing in Queensland and Adelaide today.