Thu, Feb 10, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Australian police nab alleged drug dealer in Sydney

AP , SYDNEY

Police in Sydney have arrested a Taiwanese man wanted by the US on drug trafficking offenses, Australia's justice minister said yesterday.

Kuang-Hua Chen was arrested by Australian Federal Police officers at Sydney airport on Monday after he arrived on a flight from Taiwan, Justice Minister Chris Ellison said in a statement.

Chen is wanted by US authorities on charges of conspiracy to import and distribute large quantities of crystal methamphetamine, or "ice," as well as the importation of another drug similar to ice.

"It is alleged Mr. Chen is a long-standing prolific drug trafficker, responsible for the importation of large quantities of heroin and methamphetamine into a number of countries including Australia," Ellison said.

The arrest is the culmination of a global investigation, Ellison said in the statement.

The joint effort involved Australian police, the US Drug Enforcement Administration, New Zealand Police and Customs, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the UK National Crime Squad, Ellison said.

A spokesman for Ellison, Brad Burke, said Chen's arrest was not made public sooner as all participating agencies had to be notified.

Chen is being held pending extradition to the US.

"His detention will disrupt the ability of international syndicates which use Mr Chen's services to [move] drugs across the globe,'' Ellison said.

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