What’s been described as Australia’s biggest-ever police bust has resulted in mass arrests of criminals ranging from alleged mafia bosses and bikies to local reality stars.
Over 100 people have been arrested for their involvement in organised crime, spanning across Australia, the U.S., Britain and wider Europe, in a sting using an encrypted app called AN0M.
The app, which was designed by the FBI and the Australian Federal Police, saw the criminals interact with each other, all the while being watched by the authorities.
Through the covert operation, detectives allegedly uncovered 21 murder plots, gun distribution and mass drug trafficking.
One of the two reality stars was Sopiea Kong, who starred in the 2017 season of Ninja Warrior. The 33-year-old was charged last week following a raid at a Kangaroo Point home, where police allegedly seized 154g of meth.
Samuel Minkin, who appeared on Becky and Elly Miles’ season of The Bachelorette, was charged with possessing a large commercial quantity of cannabis.
The AFP seized 3.7 tonnes of drugs, 104 weapons and almost $45million in cash as part of the AN0M operation.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the AN0M operation “puts Australia at the forefront of the fight against criminals who peddle in human misery and ultimately, it will keep our communities and Australians safe.
“Illicit drug use ruins lives and fuels organised crime.”
AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw said federal agents had been in the “back pockets” of criminals via the app.
“The FBI had the lead on this. We provided the technical capability to decrypt those messages,” he said.
“Some of the best ideas come over a couple of beers.”
That they do, mate. That they do.