Music promoter Andrew McManus among five arrested in drug trafficking ring

Music promoter Andrew McManus among five arrested in drug trafficking ring

Five men have been arrested, including well-known Melbourne music promoter Andrew McManus, over an alleged international drug trafficking and money laundering ring.

Three men have been arrested at Sydney airport, while McManus has been arrested at Melbourne airport overnight, as the result of a joint investigation by NSW Police and the United States FBI.

A fifth man has been arrested in San Diego in the US.

The investigation had been underway since 2011, when NSW police seized a suitcase containing $700,000 from a Sydney hotel.

Detectives say they have also uncovered the importation of 300 kilograms of cocaine from Mexico in to Australia, via the US.

Detective Superintendent Scott Cook, commander of the NSW Organised Crime Squad, says McManus has been charged with perverting the course of justice and making a false statement, both in relation to the haul of cash.

He has also been charged with participation in a criminal group.

A Sydney solicitor and two other NSW men have been charged with similar offences.

NSW Police are also trying to extradite US citizen Owen Hanson to Sydney so he can be charged.

Detective Superintendent Cook says it is a significant criminal network that has been busted.

“We’ll allege that the criminal network involved has been importing cocaine to Australia [and] that approximately $5 million or so has been laundered as a result of that importation,” he said.

Detective Superintendent Cook said the $702,000 was intended to go to a professional gambler working out of The Star Casino in Sydney.

Image: Getty Images

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Libby Dreyer
Libby Dreyer 1729 posts

Libby has worked as a Senior Journalist at National Radio News since February 2011. She graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Canberra in December 2010.

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