The bookshelf that led to a drug operation by Colombian gang

Don’t judge a bookshelf by its cover: How a Colombian gang hid a sophisticated drug operation behind this secret door inside a suburban Sydney home

  • A Sydney house with a secret door behind a bookshelf used for drug operations 
  • The AFP is currently trying to seize the Sylvania property over the allegations  
  • The action by the AFP is linked to an investigation into a Columbian crime gang 

A secret door behind a seemingly innocuous bookshelf in a suburban house led to a sophisticated drug operation allegedly run by a Colombian gang.

Australian Federal Police are trying to seize the property in Sylvania, Sydney, under the Proceeds of Crime Act alleging the house was constructed with hidden rooms to conceal a large-scale drug operation. 

A raid was conducted at the house in 2017, when AFP officers found the rooms in a cellar behind an entrance disguised as a bookshelf. 

A secret door behind a bookshelf in a southern Sydney house led to a sophisticated drug operation by a Colombian gang

 A raid was conducted at the house in 2017 where AFP officers found the rooms in a cellar behind an entrance disguised as a bookshelf

Drugs, replica weapons, cash, a Taser, and a wireless transmitting device were found in the rooms, police allege. 

The attempt to seize the house follows an earlier AFP investigation into a Sydney-based Colombian organised crime group allegedly involved in the importation of border-controlled drugs and the laundering of the proceeds of crime. 

The joint-owner of the property, a 45-year-old man, was charged with multiple drug-related offences, including supplying cocaine, possessing cannabis and dealing in proceeds of crime with a value over $100,000. 

He pleaded guilty earlier this year and was sentenced to three years and six months imprisonment, with a non-parole period of two years and four months. 

Australian Federal Police are currently trying to seize the Sylvania property under the Proceeds of Crime Act 

Last week, the AFP Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce executed a search warrant at the property to gather further evidence. 

The AFP’s Penelope Kelton said its officers were relentless in disrupting organised crime.

‘The ability to confiscate items used in the commission of crimes sends a clear message to the criminal underworld – if you commit the crime, we are prepared to target your assets,’ she said.

‘Drug related crime puts a great strain on the community through increased health care costs, associated property crime and other forms of violence. 

‘It is only reasonable that police can fight back on behalf of the community by targeting those who seek to profit from inflicting this misery.’

The proceeds of crime aspect of the investigation is ongoing.

Drugs, replica weapons, cash, a Taser, and a wireless transmitting device were found in the rooms, police say 

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