27-Year-Old Arrested for Crypto-Related Drug Importation Offences

A 27-year-old man from Victoria’s Bulleen was arrested and charged with drug importation offences. Also, the registration of two crypto exchanges has been suspended following an organized crime investigation followed by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac) and Australian Federal Police (AFP).

According to the reports, the arrest of the Victorian man was made during the second phase of the investigation conducted by AFP.

As detailed by Austrac, the initial phase of the AFP investigation caused two men being charged for drug trafficking offences in October 2017, along with the men allegedly importing border controlled drugs through the international mail into Melbourne.

Then, it was on March 7, 2019, when the AFP officers executed search warrants in the Melbourne suburbs of Bulleen, Malvern, and Templestowe Lower, seizing Australian currency, steroids, and crypto-related items.

The 27-year-old was finally arrested and charged for allegedly possessing, trafficking, and importing a total of approximately 30kg of drugs.

The two of the offences the man has been charged with will lead him to life imprisonment. It is believed that police will allege in court,

“The man played a key role in directing the operations of the criminal syndicate, which used various darknet sites, bitcoin accounts, and legitimate business for the sourcing, payment, and distribution of the illicit drugs.”

The AFP-led CACT (Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce) also sought the restraint of the assets associated with the investigation.

Austrac said –

“Orders were obtained from the County Court of Victoria to restrain property valued in excess of AUD 2 million, that included several bank accounts, motor vehicles, real estate properties, cash, a motorbike, and cryptocurrency.”

Following the arrest, Austrac said that it suspended the registration of the two cryptocurrency exchange businesses where the man had a key role, removing their ability to continue conducting their business.