5 Canadians arrested in drug bust Down Under
Five Canadians are among six people arrested in Australia, accused of smuggling drugs with an estimated street value of $35 million in the back of computer monitors.
Australian Federal Police said the sweep on Wednesday represented the fifth-largest drug bust in the country's history. Approximately 120,000 MDMA (ecstasy) tablets and 135 kilograms of cocaine were seized.
Five people were arrested in Brisbane, Queensland, while the alleged recipient of the haul was taken into custody in Sydney, New South Wales.
"The AFP believes the people who have been arrested and charged in this operation were part of a highly sophisticated international drug importation and distribution network," said spokesman Mike Phelan.
"The AFP is currently liaising with its law enforcement colleagues in Canada and conducting further inquiries in relation to this significant importation and the international syndicate allegedly responsible for it."
Police said the discovery of the drugs was made on Sept. 8, in a container that held about 420 computer monitors, and that the suspects were subsequently identified.
The six men, who could face life in prison if convicted, were scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.In addition to the Canadians, the other suspect is a dual citizen of Australia and New Zealand.
One of the Canadians arrested was identified as Dennis Paul Paddison, 29, of Abbotsford, B.C.
He was denied bail in a brief court appearance.
With files from Associated Press