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Importing Australia - The Essential Guide for Importers

AUSTRALIAS LARGEST DRUG BUST EVER INVOLVING ITALIAN CONNECTIONS

Sometimes tomatoes just aint tomatoes Sam.





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THE long slippery slope towards a life sentence began for Pasquale Barbaro in June 2007, when customs officials on Melbourne’s docks singled out a container of what was branded as Italian tinned tomatoes.

When X-rays showed ”image anomalies”, the customs officers opened them, uncovering 15 million ecstasy tablets weighing a massive 4.4 tonnes – Australia’s biggest ever drug bust and the world’s largest ecstasy haul.

From then, the fates of Barbaro, his cousin, Saverio Zirilli, and four other men were sealed.

The Age.  NEWS.  Supplied.  23RD JUNE 2003.  Pasquale Barbaro - murder victim.  Taken from Il Globo obituaries page 23rd June 2003. qdp030623.004.002
Pasquale Barbaro.

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The downfall of Barbaro and Zirilli is a reminder of the reach of the ‘Ndrangheta, an Italian organised crime group with ties to the region around Griffith district in NSW Australia.Barbaro’s father, Francesco ”Little Trees” Barbaro, was named by the 1979 Woodward royal commission as a member of a secretive clique of Calabrians who lived in the Griffith region and who were linked to the organised italian crime group’Ndrangheta. There is no suggestion he is involved in the Melbourne drugĀ  importation.

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Barbaro, 50, and Zirilli, 55, pleaded guilty last year in Victoria’s Supreme Court to charges of trafficking ecstasy and attempting to possess cocaine, but their pleas remained secret until yesterday, when the other four men were convicted.

The final nail in the group’s coffin, in July 2008, was an attempt to smuggle 100 kilograms of cocaine, hidden in bags of Colombian coffee beans, into Australia. Officials had X-rayed the cargo and found the stash of drugs.


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Less than a fortnight after the discovery, police raided properties all over south-eastern Australia, arresting syndicate members and others.

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