Police seize $360m in cocaine in Sydney Fish Market and Tahiti raids

Federal Police officers and New South Wales officers arrested 15 men during Christmas Day raids after a two and half year investigation.

"Additionally, we've prevented future importations by apprehending 15 men for their alleged involvement in the criminal syndicate responsible for this attempted importation", AFP Acting Assistant Commissioner Chris Sheehan said.

With high street prices attracting drug sellers to Australia, police said they made more than 18,000 imported drug seizures in the past year.

The authorities released video footage showing three men being arrested aboard a fishing boat and led away in handcuffs.

Police are due to address the media at 11am (AEDT).

This amount of cocaine seized in total has an estimated street value of approximately $360 million (£211.3), according to police.

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The men, said to be aged between 29 to 63 years, have been charged with serious drug offences. The sting was a result of a 30-month police operation.

In a related event in March of 2016, police seized 1336 pounds of cocaine in the island nation of Tahiti, which was headed to Australia.

The maximum penalty for conspiracy to import a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs is life imprisonment, Australian Federal Police said. The operation investigated the suspected drug trafficking by a commercial trawler at the Sydney Fish Market.

Police seized about 500kg of cocaine from a boat as it pulled up to a ramp on the NSW Central Coast. Mark Jenkins, Crime Commander for NSW Police Force State commended law enforcement officials for working together on the large drug bust, even at the expense of missing holiday celebrations and time with family.

Fifteen men, including commercial fishing operators, were arrested over the past few days for allegedly importing the cocaine from South America.

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