$400K of Penfolds Grange allegedly seized as part of Operation Ironside

Members of the South Australia Police conducted a large number of searches upon residential and business premises across South Australia. The raids were part of a long term investigation into serious organised crime, with the focus being the Comanchero Outlaw Motor Cycle Gang (OMCG).

The SAPOL investigation was part of Operation Ironside, which is a partnership operation with the Australian Federal Police.

Assistant Commissioner Peter Harvey said this has resulted in the largest volume of arrests for serious and organised crime offences ever seen in this state.

The Serious and Organised Crime Branch led more than 460 SAPOL personnel in searching 80 premises resulting in 37 arrests. The majority of the charges relate to serious criminal matters including conspiracy to murder, large commercial trafficking of controlled drugs and money laundering.

The exhibits seized during yesterday’s raids are an indication of the level of criminal activity and included:

  • Restraining properties conservatively valued at $11.186 million and if convicted will be subject to forfeiture to the State.
  • Seizure of $1.843 million in cash and restrained a further $1.6 million in bank accounts, which will upon convictions be subject to forfeiture.
  • Seizure of 4kg of methamphetamine and 10,000 ecstasy tablets.
  • Other goods seized, according to The Advertiser, included expensive watches, large amounts of Louis Vuitton fashion gear and a number of extensive wine collections – including two full sets of Penfolds Grange worth $400,000 each.

“Also seized were 67 vehicles, including two Lamborghinis, a Bentley and dozens of high in luxury vehicles, the Lamborghinis alone are conservatively estimated at $500,000 to $600,000. It also includes 15 Harley Davidson motorcycles, boats and jet skis. The total value of all vehicles is likely to exceed $3 million.

Further to this, jewellery, a premium wine collection and accessories were seized, watches including a $61,000 and an $85,000 Rolex along with a $100,000 Louis Vuitton accessory collection.

Over the duration of the investigation which commenced in February 2020, 90kg of methamphetamine was seized with an estimated street level value of $45,000,000.

It also included the dismantling of two industrial level clandestine laboratories for the production of methamphetamine – one of which was capable of producing $25,000,000 worth of methamphetamine a week.

“This complex, long standing investigation has struck a blow to the foundations of organised crime in South Australia.  We anticipate that the void in criminal hierarchy and control will be quickly filled as other criminals seek to assume control of lucrative drug and other illegal enterprises.  It is however, just as important to understand that SAPOL and all other enforcement agencies law and partners, are also ready to continue the fight and keep the community safe.”

“Can I thank and praise the many law enforcement personnel who have been involved in this extraordinary operation, who have put in many hours of dedicated and committed time to ensure that these investigations have resulted in such an unprecedented and outstanding success.” said Assistant Commissioner Harvey.


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