“That’s a pretty hard hit for organised crime; that’s over 80 per cent of cash seizures in Australia right here in WA,” he said.
“Organised crime are hurting from these cash seizures and now the drug seizures of over 200 kilograms of meth and they’re pretty angry about it.
“We have pretty good intelligence at this time that says the overseas kingpins, the drug suppliers, are very upset over what WA Police are doing to them. They’re trying to find who to blame.
“I have it on good authority they are looking for the people who are responsible for … losing their drugs and losing their money.
“I know they call them ‘bungling bikies’. This is, in my terms, an organised crime fiasco for them.”
Detectives have charged four people they allege were driving the vehicles involved in the most seizure uncovered in regional WA.
“It’s not luck by police; it’s good, hard detective work by the organised crime division,” Mr Blanch said.
“The drug and firearm squad have really refined their capability over the last few months to achieve these outstanding results for the West Australian community.”
A 37-year-old NSW man was arrested in Meckering, outside Northam in the Wheatbelt, allegedly driving a truck carrying more than 14.6kg of meth and just over $3.64 million cash on Friday, January 29.
A narcotics detection dog allegedly located the haul as part of a vehicle-stop operation set up on Great Eastern Highway at 7.20am.
Police will allege the drugs and cash were found concealed in one of the trailers of the truck bearing New South Wales registration plates, which has since been seized under proceeds of crime legislation.
The driver has been charged with possession of a prohibited drug with intent to sell or supply (methylamphetamine) and laundering money from proceeds of a major offence.
He was refused bail in Perth Magistrates Court and is next due to appear on Monday, February 15.
Another truck bearing New South Wales registration plates and two vans were searched five days later in Fairbridge, near Pinjarra in the South West.
Drug squad detectives allegedly discovered almost $4.5 million in cash in four suitcases aboard the truck pulled over along South Western Highway at 2.40pm on Wednesday, February 3.
Shortly after, two vans which had allegedly been seen taking boxes from the truck were intercepted and 15 boxes police said contained methylamphetamine packets were seized.
Three people have been charged with trafficking the 163 kilograms seized, with the 40-year-old NSW truck driver also facing laundering charges.
A 51-year-old South Yunderup man has been charged over allegedly driving a van with 11 boxes of meth aboard, while a 30-year-old Floreat man was allegedly caught driving a van in which four boxes of meth were found.
He was also charged with reckless driving after trying to evade police.
All three men were refused bail in Perth Magistrates Court and were next due to appear in Mandurah Magistrates Court on Friday, February 29.
Mr Blanch said WA Police also made several significant drug and cash seizures from organised crime last year, including the seizure of $13.15 million from a single truck.
He said any vehicles used to help facilitate the criminal activity would be seized, which meant the owners also risked losing their primary source of income.
“Every person involved in the distribution of drugs, from the top of the drug syndicate to the bottom, plays a role in spreading the misery of meth on our streets and they can all expect to be a focus of our operations,” he said.
“Our intelligence-sharing with other state and Commonwealth intelligence and law enforcement agencies will continue to make WA a hostile environment for drug syndicates to operate in.”
Aja Styles is a senior writer for WAtoday.
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