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Aus drug lord setting up super lab in India: Reports

March 26, 2012 10:35 IST
One of the most wanted drug lord of Australia, Hakan Ayik, is being suspected of setting up a "super" drug laboratory in India, a media report said.

It is the second example of Australian bikie groups setting up operations in South Asia, where the precursor chemicals needed to make amphetamines can be legally sourced in large quantities in a bid to facilitate crime, according to a report in The Age newspaper.

The laboratory, capable of exporting tonnes of methamphetamine globally, was probed by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, Australian and Indian authorities in 2010. The agencies suspect it was designed to facilitate industrial-scale illicit drug production.

The report further said that law enforcement officials also believe that one of Melbourne's most notorious organized crime bosses, who is associated with the Black Uhlans outlaw motorcycle gang, has established links in Pakistan, including a senior government official, as part of plans to import drug or engage in money laundering.

The links in Pakistan also give associates of the crime figure access to lucrative Pakistani government contracts. Meanwhile, the Victoria police acting Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer had earlier warned that Australian bikie clubs were expanding aggressively overseas, including in Spain, Thailand and Indonesia.

The report said that the US Drug Enforcement Agency and Indian authorities gathered intelligence revealing that Ayik had travelled in early 2010 to India, where he sought to buy an industrial pharmaceutical factory able to produce half a tonne of methamphetamine every week. He is also suspected of having sourced from Indian suppliers large amounts of precursor chemicals that could be used to make a multimillion-dollar shipment of methamphetamine.

About the same time as he was preparing to launch his Indian venture, Ayik sent a message on a Korean internet dating site that stated that he had travelled from Hong Kong to India "on a business trip".

A source close to the US agency said it was believed that 33-year-old Ayik was associating with a roving international crew of criminal associates engaged in large-scale drug production and trafficking from India.

He was thought by the Indian police and US officials to have plans to move the drugs by boat across Asia and into Australia, where they would have been distributed by the Comancheros and other bikie groups.

The most wanted fugitive Ayik is the subject of an outstanding Australian police arrest warrant over his suspected involvement in the importation into Australia in July 2010 of 220 kilograms of heroin.

The New South Wales police describe him as one of their most wanted suspects. In his absence, Australian authorities have been quietly moving to seize his assets.

Late last year, the NSW crime commission went to court to seize Ayik's Harley-Davidson, his apartment in Sydney's Chinatown and his shareholdings in several companies.

Ayik's role in Indian venture was uncovered during research for a new book on organised crime in Australia, The Sting, which is published by Melbourne University Press.

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