The West

Police in three states including WA have arrested 26 people and smashed a multimillion-dollar drug trafficking syndicate after simultaneous raids on dozens of homes and businesses.

Operation Scarlett involved South Australian, WA and Queensland detectives.

WA Police said organised crime squad detectives have charged four people in WA as part of the operation.

Properties in Carramar, Dianella, South Lake, Wangara and Como were raided.

Police said they found 16kg of cannabis, 61 vials of a substance believed to be steroids, about $150,000 cash, 10 tablets believed to be MDMA and an assortment of items consistent with those used to sell or supply drugs.

Proceeds of crime squad detectives were notified and assets valued at $2.2 million have been frozen, including three properties, three vehicles, two boats and a trailer and bank accounts and cash.

A 32-year-old-man has been charged with possessing a prohibited drug with intent to sell or supply and will appear in the Perth Magistrates Court today.

A 28-year-old-man and a 33-year-old woman have been charged with possessing a prohibited drug with intent to sell or supply, and are both due to appear in the Perth Magistrates Court in February.

A 34-year-old man has been charged with unlawful possession of cash and is due to appear in Fremantle Magistrates Court in February.

SA police allege the Adelaide-based leaders of the syndicate were running hydroponic cannabis grow houses as well as acquiring cannabis from other sources.

The drugs were allegedly transported by couriers to syndicate members in Perth and Kuranda, in far north Queensland.

Detectives allege the syndicate transported up to 4082 packages of cannabis interstate in the past year and had operated since 2008.

They believe large amounts of cash were being sent back to South Australia each week, with $2 million in 26 packets returned to Adelaide in recent months.

In SA, 37 homes and businesses across Adelaide, the Barossa Valley and at Murray Bridge were searched in raids which began on Wednesday morning.

More raids were conducted on Thursday.

“Thirteen people (in SA) were arrested and charged using new legislation aimed at combating serious and organised crime,“ assistant commissioner Paul Dickson said.

“This group have been charged with participating in a criminal organisation, aggravated trafficking of a large commercial amount of cannabis for the benefit of a criminal organisation and money laundering.”

A further three people in SA were charged with cultivating cannabis.

Six homes were searched in Queensland and six people were charged with a range of offences including trafficking cannabis and possession of the proceeds of crime.


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