THREE Bankstown men are among a group of eight Vietnamese nationals charged as part of a police operation targeting an alleged money laundering and cannabis supply syndicate.
Established in July 2019, by the State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Squad and the NSW Crime Commission, Strike Force Riche allegedly uncovered a network operating multiple hydro houses across Sydney’s south west.
On Wednesday, March 25, strike force detectives, assisted by Bass Hill and North West Region Enforcement Squads, carried out early morning raids on four homes in Revesby, Punchbowl and Yagoona as well as seven residential units and a storage unit in Liverpool, Bankstown and Lansvale.
Police allegedly seized a total of 456 cannabis plants, 22kg of cannabis head and $330,000 cash during the searches, bringing the total estimated potential street value of the drugs seized to date as part of this investigation to more than $3 million.
Three men and two women from Liverpool, also all Vietnamese Nationals, were arrested as part of last week’s operations and were each charged with a range of drug supply related offences.
The Bankstown trio, aged 37, 20 and 40, also face a range of charges, and police will also allege in court that the older man was a senior member of the syndicate and assisted in the coordination of the grow houses.
Two men arrested as part of Strike Force operations in December and another man arrested in Queensland in February have also each been charged with drug related offences and remain before the courts.
Investigations under Strike Force Riche are continuing.
Family search for missing man
POLICE are searching for a man reported missing from Bass Hill.
Trent McKechnie, 28, was last seen leaving his home on Farrell Road, Bass Hill, about 4.30am on Thursday, March 12.
Family members hold grave concerns for his welfare due to his mental state and reported him missing after they were unable to contact him.
Mr McKechnie is described as being Caucasian in appearance, about 175cm tall with a thin build, short brown hair and brown eyes.
He was last seen wearing grey track pants and a white jumper.
He left home in his 2000 model Toyota Hilux ute, registration number YEA-548. The vehicle is fitted with a rear canopy and roof racks.
If you have any information contact Bankstown Police Station or Crime Stoppers, 1800 333 000.
Construction site crash
A MAN died after his car crashed into a construction site in Belmore last Wednesday morning.
Witnesses said the 75-year-old man was parked at a property on Drummond Street, Belmore, about 10.40am and when he drove from the property, the car sharply accelerated across several lanes of traffic on Canterbury Road, before crashing into the construction site.
The man died at the scene and report will be prepared for the coroner.