On top of seizing drugs, cash, cars and firearms in an operation targeting cocaine dealing in Sydney, police are also sending text messages to potential customers asking them to come forward.
So far 36 people have been arrested as part of Operation Northrop, which was set up in September to crack down on cocaine supply in the CBD.
“What these syndicates were doing, they were operating a ‘dial-a-dealer’ service. Just like ordering a pizza, only illegal,” Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Bell said.
“A criminal group would have a phone. They had a phone number. And people would contact that number and arrange the delivery of cocaine.”
Detective Bell said more than 2,000 contacts were found on mobile phones belonging to suspected drug dealers, and police would be sending text messages to those people.
The message reads something along the lines of, “Your number has been in contact with a person that is supplying cocaine. Are you able to assist us with our inquiries?”
However, those who receive such messages are not obliged to respond.
Cocaine with a street value of more than $140,000 was seized during the operation, as well as MDMA or ecstasy.
Two firearms and ammunition were also uncovered, as well as $120,000 cash.
“It shows that the demand for cocaine is high,” Detective Bell said.
“And whilst the demand is high we’ll continue to run these types of investigations.”