Duo face court over massive drug bust as Bandidos make extraordinary denial

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Australian Federal Police display some of the drugs that were seized.

Australian Federal Police show a number of the medication that had been seized.Credit score:Joe Armao

The medication had been “artfully hid” inside a cargo of loudspeakers on a ship in Los Angeles, US authorities mentioned.

Van Dung Le, 31, and Chi Cuong Vu, 25, confronted Melbourne Magistrates Courtroom after being extradited from Sydney final week.

Mr Vu, who appeared in court docket carrying a gray T-shirt with the phrase “obey” on the entrance, is charged with making an attempt to import a industrial amount of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin between October 28 final yr and January 23.

The Alphasonik-branded audio equipment case used to smuggle the methamphetamines.

The Alphasonik-branded audio tools case used to smuggle the methamphetamines.Credit score:Joe Armao

Mr Le, from the Sydney suburb of Hinchinbrook, is accused of importing methamphetamine to the Victorian city of Donnybrook as just lately as final week.

He’s charged with importing medication since October final yr.

Mr Vu, from Sydney’s Bonnyrigg Heights, and Mr Le had been remanded in custody.

The court docket heard Mr Le was withdrawing from cocaine.

Cash and passports found as part of the huge drug seizure.

Money and passports discovered as a part of the massive drug seizure.Credit score:Joe Armao

Their appearances got here after American nationals Nasser Abo Abdo, 52, and Leonor Fajardo, 46, who had been each dwelling within the Victorian city of Woodstock, confronted court docket final Friday alongside 31-year-old Tuan Ngoc Tran, of Keilor Downs.

The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald revealed Mr Abo Abdo, 52, had been a distinguished determine within the audio tools trade in California and ran a collection of firms promoting stereos, audio system, subwoofers and digital amplifiers.

Pictures distributed by police confirmed the intercepted medication had been hidden inside packing containers carrying the names Audiobahn and Alphasonik, two of the speaker firms operated by Mr Abo Abdo.

US court docket information present that Mr Abo Abdo filed for chapter in California in 2008, claiming liabilities of US$four.6 million. His money owed had been discharged in 2010.

All 5 males have been remanded in custody and are resulting from return to court docket on June 17.

The Bandidos motorbike gang has rebuffed any suggestion it’s linked to the drug haul, saying the distribution and possession of ice goes in opposition to the membership’s spirit and tradition.

“We, like most Australians, shared a sigh of reduction that these medication by no means reached our shores,” the Bandidos mentioned in a press release on Monday.

“The Bandido Bike Membership vehemently distance ourselves from this insidious scourge on humanity, in each method, form and kind.

“We categorically refute any suggestion of involvement in any respect, on this or another matter regarding ice.”

AFP assistant commissioner Bruce Hill mentioned on Friday a Mexican cartel, which he declined to call, was allegedly behind the medication.

“The cartel is amongst one of the crucial highly effective and violent drug trafficking syndicates on this planet,” he mentioned.

Adam Cooper joined The Age in 2011 after a decade with AAP, the nation’s information service. Electronic mail or tweet Adam together with your information ideas.

Simone is a breaking information reporter for The Age. Most just lately she lined breaking information for The Australian in Melbourne.

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