A total of 27 people were arrested after 700 police swept through 45 properties in Melbourne's north and west on Tuesday.
The raids targeted a "well known" Middle Eastern family-based syndicate allegedly involved in trafficking firearms and commercial quantities of drugs, Assistant Commissioner Steve Fontana said.
The syndicate has a history of trafficking firearms and commercial amounts of drugs and police say the bust has given it "a pretty good dent".
"There's always someone that'll try to move in afterwards and fill the void but we've certainly taken out the significant ringleaders," Mr Fontana told reporters.
More than 35,000 tobacco plants and what is believed to be a high-powered assault weapon were seized in the raids, which police said disrupted the workings of the gang linked to the Haddara family and its associates.Interestingly, the article seems to have been completely re-written sometime today, with this part having disappeared (but still included in the Guardian's version).
He said tobacco plants, which were seized from a property near Geelong, were grown to avoid millions of dollars in excise tax.Now ain't that a thing, eh? Because - if you are to believe the tobacco control industry - this type of natural human behaviour, and a basic principle of economics, is not really happening at all. We know this as one of ASH's editorial board was very certain about it a couple of years ago.
BBC: There must be a tipping point where you are forcing poorer people to buy their cigarettes without paying duty.
Joyless: Well, it's very interesting because [...] the tobacco companies always say that. If the tax goes up, this is going to increase smuggling. And they say it, it's one of their many deceits as it's not true.So, nothing to see here. The huge Australian organised crime syndicate is just a clever ruse, it was all just orchestrated by the tobacco industry to fool you.
That, or yet another tobacco control lie being has spectacularly exposed as such. Not that it will put off Osborne tomorrow, though, I expect.