Federal police dismantle major worldwide crime syndicate, 17 arrested

Ali Jomaa faced court in Sydney this week

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Police in Australia, Dubai and the Netherlands have arrested 17 people and seized almost two tonnes of narcotics in raids the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said on Tuesday had broken up two interlinked Middle Eastern crime syndicates.

Law enforcement agents in the United Arab Emirates took part in a simultaneous operation with Australian Federal Police that led to the arrest of five members of an worldwide crime syndicate.

Authorities also made arrests in Dubai and the Netherlands after finding two tons of narcotics during simultaneous drug raids Tuesday.

According to Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan, the investigation had been a 12-month project.

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Those arrested in Australia will be charged with conspiracy to import a "commercial quantity of a border controlled drug" and "dealing in proceeds of crime and money worth $1,000,000 or more", among other offenses.

Those arrested in Dubai include a 39-year-old Vaucluse man, a 43-year-old Dover Heights man, a 34-year-old Punchbowl man and two Australian men living in Dubai, aged 39 and 30 years old.

A container of drugs was seized in the Netherlands in July which was allegedly bound for Australia in shipping containers, the AFP spokesman said.

Australian authorities have declared a series of Sydney raids that busted an alleged high-profile drug syndicate is "only the beginning" as they target organised criminals who operate overseas.

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