3 Aussies Arrested In Serbia Linked To $500M Drug Bust
Police in Serbia have detained three Australian men over their suspected role in an international drug-smuggling ring that attempted to import more than a tonne of cocaine into Sydney last year.
Serbian authorities released an official statement on Wednesday claiming that the men were connected to 1280 kilograms of cocaine that was found and seized in April 2017 on a Chinese container ship that had docked in Sydney.
It is believed that the drugs had a value of around $A500 million.
The arrests were made on Wednesday with help from Australian authorities.
A spokesman from AFP said that they had been notified of the arrests, however "the men are the subject of an investigation in Serbia, it would not be appropriate for the AFP to provide further comment at this time."
The men have not yet been formally identified to the public other than by their initials, date of birth and the fact that they are Australian citizens. According to Serbian broadcaster b29 the men arrested are, T.V. (1983), R.A. (1974), and D.K (1969) along with a Lebanese citizen D.G. (1977).
The man who is a citizen of Lebanon was arrested and charged in relation to identity fraud.
The arrests were made in the lobby of a Belgrade hotel during what is believed to have been a "money handover".
Foreign currency banknotes including euros, Australian, US and Singaporean dollars, Czech korunas, Vietnamese dong, Japanese yen, Chinese yuan, Thai bahts, and Serbian dinars were found in the men's possession.
Serbian police said in a statement that they would "continue to cooperate with Australia's authorities in order to implement further action related to this permanent international investigation.