Friday, 15 April 2011

BIKIE gangs in Australia are feared to be uniting with violent Mexican drug cartels in a bid to bring cocaine into the country.

As new figures reveal organised crime costs Australia $15 billion a year, the Herald Sun can reveal that three of Australia's biggest recent cocaine busts had a Mexican connection.

The Lone Wolves bikie gang is alleged to have links with $12.5 million worth of cocaine found in a shipping container in Sydney last September.

Almost 50kg of the drug was allegedly concealed in a shipping container from Panama that passed through Mexico's busiest port, Manzanillo.

More than 460kg of cocaine found on a yacht in Queensland in October originated in Ecuador, but had links to Mexico.

And a Mexican man in Melbourne allegedly sorted through 240kg of Mexican cocaine concealed inside pavers.

The Australian Federal Police has re-established its Los Angeles office to combat cocaine smuggling from Mexico, where 30,000 people in five years have been killed in the country's bloody drug wars.

"Mexico in particular is having an extreme impact on Australia," AFP national manager for serious and organised crime Kevin Zuccato told the Herald Sun.

The Australian Crime Commission will today release its latest report on organised crime.

It flags cocaine and violence from Mexican drug lords as a major threat to Australia.

"The combined annual turnover of the Mexican drug cartels, which are increasingly exporting cocaine to Australia, is estimated to exceed $10 billion," the report says.

"There is concern that they may also import the violent practices which have been reported overseas."

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