The Inside Story of Australia’s Biggest Drug Bust
Australia’s Biggest Drug Bust:
It was late Friday afternoon when the phone rang at the Paramatta office of the New South Wales drug team.
Police Detective Chief Inspector Jason Smith picked up the phone and listened attentively to a colleague who fanatically explained that he had received a barbaric suspicious South Coast fisherman who planned to import drugs on trawlers.
When Smith hung up the phone, he set up his own instincts and he had to look at it.
"My colleagues gave us some wild tips, but the information tells me there are some legs," he explained to the "Saturday Telegraph".
"I have one of my detectives going out and digging, and the more we dig, the more we find," he says.
After several weeks of digging, they realized that the group they were observing was big fish, but they never imagined they would eventually take off the largest group of cocaine in Australian history.
But it's such a technologically savvy group - it's said to use encrypted BlackBerrys for $ 2,500 pop music, NSW police and the Australian Federal Police need to join forces.
This is a survey that will require another 2½ years, hundreds of hours of physical surveillance combined with 24/7 mobile phone monitoring.
In the Oki operation, up to 20 full-time officers work 24 hours a day, as the alleged group members arrange meetings almost every weekend, as they talk about their drug-smuggling programs in Sydney's cafes and parks.
Over 100 meetings were monitored, with the police accusing the most of Ulladulla fishing boss Joseph "Joe" Pirello, who is the common link between all 15 members of the group.
The work even brought some detectives to Fiji and Tahiti.
AFP Detective Sergeant Paul Watt said the police force was relentless in their surveillance, which was straining to work, especially when within their target meters.
"Sometimes, at some stage, every officer thinks they've been burned - you just act like you have reason to be where you are," he said.
Some of his undercover staff would dress in different ways, pretending to drink coffee with friends, or even lying on a park bench, newspapers on their faces.
"You can not have a man in a suit walking in the fish market. Everyone knows everyone, it's a difficult place to operate," he said. Biggest Drug Bust Biggest Drug Bust
Witter smiled and said he recalled one of his colleagues trying to "fit" in Brooklyn, a city north of Sydney on the Hawkesbury River.
"At one stage, a guy trying to hold the lid by holding a fishing rod, standing there, apparently did not know how to use it. Biggest Drug Bust Biggest Drug BustBiggest Drug Bust
He dropped the bait and the hook, but he put it in a nearby dock, and his detachment said to him, "You will not catch a lot of it there."
"But these guys did a great job and they really did.
Smith agreed that the job was relentless and explained police had missed birthdays, family functions and children's movements.
He missed the last chance to see his mother before she died because he sat on a Marine Corps command observation as members of the group allegedly catching boats from the Sydney Fish Market to meet the "mother ship" that would surrender Of the drug from South America.
"There are a lot of twists and turns, but I have to praise the team for their strength, they often quarrel to the last minute of the meeting and create their own luck through the extra mile," Smith said.
More than 100 police officer from the New South Wales Police, AFP, and the Australian border forces missed the Christmas celebration when the so-called ring decided to eventually bring 500 kilograms of cocaine to the store in Brooklyn's Pasley Bay, Come.
On the night the accused ring was smashed, the Australian border force played an important role, and wing commander Vic Pisani said his staff provided important information for the investigation.
"We almost kept the situation happening at sea - we provide surveillance, we have information on aircraft and patrol boats and regional countries, other cooperating agencies," he said.
"We assist the police effort and give it an ocean dimension.
The total volume of shipments intercepted during the investigation was 1.1 tons of cocaine and 32 kilograms of heroin, valued at more than $ 370 million.
There are now 15 men accused in court of alleged divers in the role of their driver.
In addition to Christmas and Boxing Day arrests, the police also accused the organization of four other conspiracy to import commercial quantities of drugs - all of which were thwarted.
Watt and Smith both said their team has been the ass of many jokes over the past few years because they were dating time before the arrest. Biggest Drug Bust Biggest Drug Bust
But those who like to break some beer, and finally to their families to explain the details of the brainstorming of the title, they think it should be used in the Australian media.
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