Three men have been jailed in relation to 55 kilograms of cocaine found inside a plasma cutting machine in June 2019.
Operation Neem was a joint Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Border Force (ABF) investigation into a shipment of cocaine from India to Port Botany, NSW last year.
AFP officers conducted a controlled delivery of the shipment in July 2019 with support from ABF, executing search warrants in north-western Sydney. Three men aged 46, 50 and 53 years old were arrested during this activity.
Further details into the initial arrests and vision from the time can be accessed from the original media release - Three men charged and 55kg of cocaine hidden inside industrial machinery seized
The two men aged 50 and 46 have since pleaded guilty to attempting to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported and border controlled substance, while the 53-year-old pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting an attempt to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported and border controlled substance.
Yesterday (17 September 2020), the three men were sentenced at the Downing Centre Court.
The 46-year-old Rouse Hill man was sentenced to nine years and 10 months imprisonment, with a non-parole period of five years and 10 months to finish on 24 May 2025. The 50-year-old Kellyville man was sentenced to eight years and three months imprisonment, with a non-parole period of four years and 11 months to finish on 24 June 2024. The 53-year-old Arcadia man was sentenced to six years imprisonment, with a non-parole period of three years and seven months to finish on 24 February 2023.
Note to media:
Media are encouraged to include help-seeking information in stories about illicit drugs to minimise any negative impact on people in the community. The following services provide people with access to support and information.
For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015. Access free 24/7 drug and alcohol counselling online at www.counsellingonline.org
AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297
ABF Media: (02) 6264 2244