• Drug syndicate found to have used drones during meetings for counter-surveillance
  • $30m worth cocaine and $580,000 in cash
  • Criminals were from Australia, Canada and Britain

An international drug ring that used counter-surveillance drones to stay ahead of police were busted along with $30m worth of cocaine across several raids in Melbourne on Thursday.

The AFP said among the seven arrested were — four Australian men, two from Canada and one from Britain. The arrest occurred on a Thursday night.

The Victoria Police and Australian Federal Police jointly issued search warrants on Thursday throughout Melbourne and successfully raided twelve properties across Melbourne, arresting the men from Carlton, Essendon and South Yarra. $580,000 in cash were also seized by authorities.

Earlier on Monday, police discovered 3 black duffel bags with each containing 26 boxes of cocaine was hidden in a shipping container on board the cargo vessel named, ‘Spirit of Shanghai’ which was headed from Panama.

The cocaine shipment weighing 92 kilograms in total, arrived at the Port of Melbourne by sea earlier than expected.


Australian Federal Police Commissioner John Beveridge describes the investigation was a prolonged one as it involved criminals attempting to outsmart them.

Beveridge said, ‘The criminals used drones to perform counter-surveillance on investigators while conducting their own meetings’.

However he said, the Police were also getting technologically smarter and were able to counter their surveillance.