Australia drug syndicate link: Nepal cops

Nepalese-based drug syndicates are targeting Australia through Asian drug networks, triggering stepped up regional drug enforcement intelligence sharing.

Senior drug enforcement officers in Nepal said the increased co-operation, including with the Australian Federal Police, was key to the arrest this week of two Nepalese drug couriers in Nepal linked with a syndicate importing methamphetamines into Australia.

Nepal's Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) chief Jaya Bahadur Chand said the arrests had broken the international drug network operating through Asian countries.

The two men were linked to a Nepalese drug syndicate ringleader, Dharma Pakhrin Tamang, who dispatched up to 80 kilograms of methamphetamines to Australia from China earlier this year.

Brisbane man Raymond Marsden was charged in January after receiving the methamphetamines in boxes reported as Christmas decorations.

Marsden surrendered to Bribie Island Police Station two days after collecting the boxes from the Brisbane container centre after he became suspicious about the contents.

He had been asked to pick up the boxes and deliver them to a Nepalese man, Bhupendra Tamang, in Australia.

He told police he had been contacted by men he had met in Nepal. Bhupendra was later arrested.

In March, Nepal-based media said the AFP had contacted Nepal's narcotics bureau after Marsden informed police and that led to several arrests in Kathmandu.

Chand said co-operation had been key to all the arrests.

"We are sharing transnational intelligence to nab (syndicate leader) Dharma (Pakhrin Tamang) who has been trafficking drugs to Australia, Philippines, Myanmar and other Southeast Asian countries," Jaya said.

Southeast Asian drug law enforcement officials told AAP the arrests in Nepal marked a major breakthrough for Nepalese authorities to clamp down on the drug rings.

The official said regional co-operation had been increased as authorities sought to find links between drug importers and syndicates operating in Nepal.

© AAP 2016

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