NSW man extradited over 1.28 tonnes of cocaine
A NSW man has been extradited from Serbia over his alleged role in the importation of 1.28 tonnes of cocaine into Sydney last year.
David Campbell, 49, was flown into Sydney last night and is due to face Parramatta Local Court today charged over the $500 million haul - the second largest seizure in Australian history.
Campbell was flown into Sydney International Airport under the guard of Australian Federal Police officers and was later charged with five drug related offences including importing a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs.
The 43-year-old was arrested during dramatic raids at Belgrade's five-star Metropol Palace Hotel in January this year in connection to an international cocaine smuggling syndicate.
At the time police also arrested another New South Welshman Rohan Arnold, 43, a stockyard director and steel importer from the NSW country town of Murrumbateman.
Arnold, Campbell and a third man Tristan Waters were arrested by Serbian police on January 16 as they were allegedly handing over a bag containing $1 million in cash.
Australia Federal Police allege 2576 blocks of cocaine weighing 1.28 tonnes were seized from inside a container of prefabricated steel as it arrived in Sydney in April 2017.
They believe the drugs were sent from their source country via China.
It was the nation's second-largest seizure of cocaine - 1.4 tonnes was stopped at the border in February 2017 - and was tested at 78 per cent purity, putting its value at up to $500 million.
Australian Federal Police acting Manager Organised Crime, Acting Commander Peter Bodel, thanked Serbian authorities for their ongoing assistance.
"More and more, the AFP's investigations will span across borders as we continue in our work dismantling organised crime at the source, making these partnerships and the co-operation with international authorities vital," Acting Commander Bodel said.
Australian Border Force Regional Commander for NSW, Danielle Yannopoulos, said this result is a testament to the co-operation and intelligence sharing between Australian law enforcement agencies and also the significant work we do with our international counterparts.
"The result from this operation demonstrates the work we do right through across the border - from intelligence gathering before the border, detecting concealed illicit goods at the border and contributing to investigations that transcend the globe," Commander Yannopoulos said.