Police seize 50kgs of tobacco, 16,230 packets of cigarettes

Police have allegedly uncovered an illicit tobacco importation operation and charged one man following the execution of nine search warrants today.

In May 2020, Strike Force Polar was established to investigate mid-level crime and drug supply activity within the Bankstown Police Area Command.
About 10am on Monday, July 13, police searched a Silver Toyota Camry on Cory Avenue in Padstow, allegedly seizing more than $9,000 in cash, as well as three parcels containing 21.6 kilograms of loose tobacco and 375 packets of cigarettes.
The driver, a 40-year-old man, was released pending further investigations.
At 6.40am today (Friday, July 31), Bankstown Police, with the assistance of South West Metropolitan OSG, executed a search warrant at a home on Cory Avenue, Padstow, and arrested a 40-year-old man.
Upon searching the home, police allegedly seized almost $5,000 in cash, 10 kilograms of loose tobacco and ATM deposit receipts totalling close to $280,000 in funds deposited in the last seven days.
With assistance from St George Police Area Command and SWM OSG, from 8am today (Friday, July 31), a further eight search warrants were executed at self-storage units in Revesby, Padstow, Bexley, Kingsgrove, Canterbury and Annandale.
During the searches, police located and seized 50 kilograms of loose tobacco and 16,230 packets of cigarettes, totalling 324,600 cigarettes.
The man was taken to Bankstown Police Station where he was charged with two counts of import tobacco products with intent to defraud revenue, two counts of convey etc tobacco products know of intent defraud revenue, three counts of knowingly deal with proceeds of crime, two counts of goods in personal custody suspected being stolen (not motor vehicle), knowingly/recklessly direct criminal group assist crime, and participate criminal group contribute criminal activity.
Police will allege the man was involved in the importation and distribution of illegal tobacco products across Metropolitan Sydney and the receipts are solely from the sale of illicit tobacco products.