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Relatives and associates of a man charged with possessing enough chemicals to make 50 kilograms of the drug ice are likely to be interviewed by police.

The 73-year-old Mosman man was picked up by police investigating the manufacture of methylamphetamine in the Sydney area, while he was driving along the F3 at Brooklyn, north of Sydney, yesterday afternoon.

Police say a search of the vehicle uncovered three jerrycans containing a total of 24 litres of what was later identified as methylamphetamine oil.

The discovery prompted a search of a home at Phegans Bay, on the central coast, described by police as a “safe house”, which allegedly contained another 26 litres of methylamphetamine oil, two firearms and ammunition.

Police say it was unlikely the man, who has been charged with two counts of drug possession and two counts of possessing an unregistered firearm, was working alone.

“It’s unusual in these matters for people to operate alone,” Detective Superintendent Deborah Wallace told reporters in Sydney today.

“They are [usually] part of a bigger network and we will be working now to identify people involved in that network.”

Asked if the man was related to others who have been involved in high-profile criminal activity, Detective Superintendent Wallace said: “All I can say is the accused has links to people who are of interest to us and we will be making inquiries in relation to those people.

“Such people would include all associates and family members,” she said.

The seized meth oil had a potential wholesale value of $13 million, Detective Superintendent Wallace said.

She said she was not surprised by the age of the charged man.

“Nothing surprises me in relation to people involved in drugs,” she said.

“It’s about money and greed and there is no bar on age limit.”

Bail was refused and the man is due to appear in Gosford Local Court today.


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