Australian police said yesterday they had smashed a crime syndicate operating across Asia, leading to 27 arrests and the seizure of drugs and assets worth millions of dollars.
Authorities said the organized gang — operating in China, including in Hong Kong and Macau, as well as Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Myanmar — allegedly targeted Australia for its heroin and methamphetamine trade.
“We know that ice [methamphetamine] availability has been increasing on our streets,” Victoria state police Assistant Commissioner Stephen Fontana said. “The dismantling of this organized crime syndicate, we expect, will dramatically effect that availability.”
Australian Federal Police said they had seized about 42kg of drugs along with A$4 million (US$4.2 million) in cash, in an operation launched in April last year.
Also included in the haul were residential properties worth A$5 million, A$600,000 in casino chips, jewelry worth A$10,000, 99 designer handbags and wallets, and a Lamborghini sports car.
Police said Operation Volante was targeted at a longstanding crime gang they accuse of importing and trafficking substantial quantities of heroin and methamphetamine into and around Australia.
Australian Justice Minister Jason Clare said the syndicate was run out of Sydney and Melbourne, but had ties to at least five other Asian countries.
Police in Victoria conducted search warrants at 37 sites across Melbourne this week, including homes, warehouses, car shops, accountant offices and security boxes, subsequently arresting five men and one woman.
Five are Vietnamese-born Australian citizens and the sixth is a Malaysian permanent Australian resident, police said.
POINT-BLANK RANGE: Reporters and camera people from several outlets say police officers in Minneapolis had fired tear gas and rubber bullets directly at them Multiple journalists on the ground in Minnesota said they were teargassed and subject to other attacks by police on Saturday evening, a day after the widely condemned arrest of a CNN reporter live on air. Los Angeles Times journalist Molly Hennessy-Fiske, who was reporting outside the Fifth Precinct in Minneapolis, said she was with a group of about a dozen journalists when the Minnesota State Patrol “fired tear gas canisters on us at point blank range.” “I was saying: ‘Where do we go?’ They did not tell us where to go. They didn’t direct us. They just fired on us,” she said
For nearly a decade, the UN Security Council has been frequently paralyzed by Russia’s obstinacy over the Syrian crisis. Today, however, it is the US-China rivalry that has infected a growing array of issues, according to officials and diplomats. As recently as 2017, an understanding between Washington and Beijing allowed the UN on three occasions — involving separate sets of economic sanctions — to project international unity in the face of the North Korean nuclear threat. Three years later, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a ferocious competition erupt between the UN’s two main contributors, prompting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on May
HISTORIC FLIGHT: The astronauts named their capsule ‘Endeavour,’ after the space shuttle on which they both flew, while Elon Musk said he was overcome with emotion Two veteran NASA astronauts headed for the International Space Station (ISS) yesterday after Elon Musk’s SpaceX on Saturday became the first commercial company to launch a rocket carrying humans into orbit, ushering in a new era in space travel. SpaceX’s two-stage Falcon 9 rocket with astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley aboard blasted off flawlessly in a cloud of bright orange flames and smoke from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, for a 19-hour voyage to the space station. “Let’s light this candle,” Hurley, the mission commander, told SpaceX mission control in Hawthorne, California, before liftoff at 3:22pm from NASA’s
INDIA Pride to be preserved The nation would not let its “pride be hurt” in its latest border flare-ups with China, but is determined to settle the dispute through talks, Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh said in a television interview late on Saturday. “Situations arise with China. It has happened before,” Singh said, adding that the government was striving to make sure “tension does not escalate.” The government has turned down US President Donald Trump’s offer to mediate, he said. IRAN Speaker says talks futile Newly elected Parliament Speaker Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf yesterday said that any negotiations with the US would be “futile.” The nation’s