Australia 'Fraudster' helped police crack eastern suburbs drug syndicate, court told

08:50  09 august  2018
08:50  09 august  2018 Source:   smh.com.au

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Alleged ringleader Dov Tenenboim (left) and Chaim Goldstein. Photos: Supplied© Supplied Alleged ringleader Dov Tenenboim (left) and Chaim Goldstein. Photos: Supplied An international dark web drug syndicate based in Sydney’s eastern suburbs was brought down by a 22-year-old "self-admitted fraudster” high on drugs for the duration of his interactions with the ringleader, a court has heard.

Police documents tendered to Waverley Local Court on Wednesday allege that a witness, who cannot be named, detailed how the syndicate bought massive amounts of cocaine, ketamine and ecstasy in the Netherlands via the dark web.

The syndicate then allegedly sent the drugs to a number of European countries, before the massive quantities of drugs arrived at addresses in Vaucluse, Bondi, Randwick, Potts Point and Bellvue Hill via the postal system.

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When the unnamed informant told police about the syndicate’s alleged operations, a five-month-long investigation by Strike Force Bergmark began.

It culminated in the arrest in June of alleged ringleader Dov Tenenboim outside his apartment in Diamond Bay Road, Vaucluse, in a dramatic raid in which police allegedly seized $70,000 in cash, bitcoin to the value of $350,000 and a diamond ring.

The police informant also provided investigators with screenshots of various UPS deliveries allegedly containing drugs.

The witness has been given immunity from prosecution on all charges, except in relation to the drugs that were found in his Meriton apartment in Bondi Junction.

Meanwhile, Mr Tenenboim is facing 45 charges of importing commercial quantities of cocaine, MDMA and ketamine, supplying commercial quantities of the same, directing a criminal group and dealing with the proceeds of crime.

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He is also charged with on-selling those drugs in 300-gram amounts over a period of five months.

His schoolfriend, failed denim entrepreneur Chaim Goldstein, has also been charged in connection with the syndicate, as has another friend of Mr Tenenboim, Rose Bay man Daniel Sopher.

In a failed bail application at Waverley Local Court on Wednesday, Mr Tenenboim’s solictor Chris Cole told magistrate Michael Barko the police informant was a "drug user and abuser” and said he was high during many of his interactions with Mr Tenenboim.

The court also heard that Mr Goldstein and Mr Sopher have been threatened since being arrested. Mr Tenenboim couldn’t be responsible, his solicitor said, because he was incarcerated at the time of the threats.

In refusing bail under even the most stringent of conditions, Mr Barko said that the Crown case was a strong one and the offences Mr Tenenboim is charged with are too serious for it to be granted.

"The defendant has been charged by police and then prosecuted by the Commonwealth in respect of a total of 50 extremely serious allegations of drug importation and supply and one account of knowingly directing the activities of a criminal group,” he said.

"Many of the offences carry a sentence of life, many carry a sentence of 25 years.”

"At its highest, it’s a sophisticated, intricate and overwhelming supply by an international drug syndicate sourced primarily from the Netherland through other countries to Australia.”

Mr Tenenboim will return to the same court on September 26.

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