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Police bust tri-state drug ring
$20 million in drugs, cash and assets have been seized. Picture: Steve Ferrier/The West Australian

Seventeen people have been charged and more than $20 million in drugs, cash and assets have been seized in a three-State investigation into a drug-smuggling racket.

The operation, involving South Australian police and the Australian Crime Commission, targeted the suspected importation and distribution of methylamphetamine and cannabis.

Police said an organised crime syndicate was operating in WA, SA and NSW.

Proceeds of Crime laws were used to seize assets valued at more than $14m, including 19 properties (WA and SA based residential houses, units and a business premises), 31 bank accounts holding about $1 million, 71 share holdings, five luxury vehicles and a cabin cruiser.

It will be alleged the operation found several senior members of the suspected crime syndicate operating with a WA-based trucking company and a South Australia-based truck driver to transport and distribute the drugs.

WA Police Organised Crime Squad detectives raided properties in WA and SA and extradited three people from SA to face court in WA.

Of the 17 people charged with 51 offences, seven of them are considered to be the people in charge of the alleged drug syndicate, police claim.

Twelve of the people will face drug trafficking charges.

Detective Inspector Chris Adams said law enforcement agencies across all jurisdictions worked closely to target people involved in illicit drug distribution.

“Being able to work closely with South Australia Police, the Australian Crime Commission and other key law enforcement agencies, based in Australia and overseas, has been critical to our success," he said.

Police said they also seized 2.4kg of methylamphetamine, 14kg of methylamphetamine in NSW, about 23.5kg of cannabis, $1,746,890 cash and four unlicensed firearms (three handguns and a rifle).