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Australian police smashes drug ring

Xinhua, February 1, 2016 Adjust font size:

Australia's illegal drug trade has been dealt a significant blow with the arrest of an alleged syndicate leader, local media reported on Monday.

More than 150 police were involved in a series of raids across Melbourne which began with the arrest of a 51-year-old alleged king pin in Tullamarine in Melbourne's northwest Sunday evening.

The alleged leader of the drug ring has been charged with trafficking and possessing ice, trafficking and possessing cocaine and possessing firearms. He is due to face the Melbourne Magistrate's Court on Monday.

"Operation Mergers," which is focused on shutting down the ice and heroin trade in Melbourne, resulted in ten arrests with more expected to follow this week.

With the main target successfully apprehended, raids targeting his alleged dealers in the suburbs were given the go-ahead.

Identified as a major source of drugs in Melbourne, several apartments in Carlton, in Melbourne's inner-north, were the focus of police attention.

Heavily armed Special Operations Group and Critical Incident Response Team members were called in to be involved in the Carlton raids as the targets were heavily armed and dangerous.

"The community is saying enough is enough," Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Justin Mercovich, who was in charge of the raids, told the Herald Sun.

"We're hearing what the community is telling us, and this is all about effecting long-term change.

"Tonight we have targeted a criminal syndicate which we believe is playing a key role behind drug use and volume crime within this (Carlton) facility and in Richmond.

"This is about tackling the core of the problem which will hopefully see a flow on affect in volume crime right across the inner city and beyond.

"Tonight's coordinated raids send a clear message that Victoria Police will not tolerate drug dealing." Enditem