'Sophisticated' clandestine laboratory allegedly uncovered at Moorebank

Drug and Firearms Squad Commander, Detective Acting Superintendent Jayne Doherty, said specialist police have identified more than 200 exhibits of interest at a Moorebank property, which specialist police uncovered as an alleged clandestine laboratory yesterday.

Two men were charged and more than 4.5kg of MDA was seized as part of the operation to investigate the manufacture of prohibited drugs across south-west Sydney.

Following extensive inquiries, Strike Force Duckette officers arrested a 41-year-old Minto Heights man during a vehicle stop at Moorebank, just before 11.30am on September 9.

Shortly after the arrest, investigators executed a crime scene warrant at an industrial property at Moorebank and three search warrants at homes at Minto Heights, Lugarno and Mount Hunter.

Investigators were assisted throughout the operation by the Central Metropolitan Region Operations Support Group (OSG) and officers from South West Metropolitan and Bass Hill Region Enforcement Squads.

During the search at Moorebank, officers seized more than 4.5kg of methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA).

Officers also located a significant quantity of chemicals, precursors and solvents, as well as equipment consistent with the manufacture of prohibited drugs.

The property was examined by specialist officers from the Drug and Firearms Squad's Chemical Operations Team, with assistance from the Forensic Evidence and Technical Services (FETS) and Fire and Rescue NSW HAZMAT crews and is currently in the process of being dismantled.

During the search of the Minto Heights and Lugarno homes, officers seized a firearm, electronic stun device and ammunition.

Electronic devices, documentation and an amount of methylamphetamine (ice) were also seized. All items will undergo further examination.

About 1pm yesterday, Drug and Firearms Squad investigators arrested a 42-year-old Lugarno man at Bankstown.

Both men were taken to Liverpool Police Station where the younger man was charged with manufacturing a prohibited drug (large commercial quantity).

The older man was charged with taking part in the manufacture of a prohibited drug (large commercial quantity).

Both men were refused bail to appear at Liverpool Local Court today.

"Initial inquiries into the clandestine laboratory suggests the operations of these men were planned and well-established," Detective Acting Superintendent Doherty said.

"The laboratory itself was sophisticated in its design and contained significant quantities of chemicals and solvents used to manufacture prohibited drugs - in particular MDA.

"Given the size of the set-up, it will likely take specialist police a number of days to completely dismantle it.

"The efforts of investigators have disrupted what could have led to the large-scale supply of prohibited drugs in the community and together with officers across the state we will continue to target drug supply on all levels.

"We know from experience how harmful prohibited drugs can be and urge anyone in the community with information about drug manufacture or supply, to come forward."

Investigations under Strike Force Duckette are continuing.

Anyone with information about the manufacture of prohibited drugs is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000.