Ice Queen’s hot sauce bust leads to $1m cash, drugs haul
Detectives from the NSW Organised Crime Squad had arrived at Sydney woman Aleksija Vracar's home to question her over an alleged plot to use fake identification to import drugs.
Instead, they allegedly uncovered almost $1 million worth of cash, drugs and guns linked to a $300 million importation of the drug ice hidden inside bottle of Sriracha hot sauce.
Police allege Vracar, 24, used a fake driver's licence to set up a business address, which was the destination of the drugs sent from the United States in October.
NSW Organised Crime Squad detectives turned up at the Bosnian-born woman's Merrylands apartment on Thursday expecting to charge her over possessing false identification to import drugs.
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But a search of her humble unit allegedly uncovered an Aladdin's cave of criminality.
More than $640,000 in cash was found stashed around the home including $472,820 in two shopping bags in the bedroom and $12,400 bursting out of an envelope.
Another $55,000 was found stuffed in a shoebox and the rest inside a handbag.
Hidden in a suitcase in a bedroom was a .22 calibre shortened bolt action rifle and semiautomatic pistol.
In a vacuum sealed bag, officers found a second semi automatic pistol.
In one of the bedrooms, police discovered several SIM cards, mobile phones, scales and a money counter.
While police were searching the unit from top to bottom, detectives also found more than two kilograms of MDMA, 264 grams of cocaine and 337 grams of cannabis.
Police allege the street value of the drugs seized was $200,000.
By the end of the day, Vracar was facing a string of serious charges, including drug supply, illegal firearm possession and possessing identification to commit an indictable offence.
She did not appear in Fairfield Local Court on Friday when her case was mentioned.
The matter was adjourned to January 30.
Police allege Vracar used four fake drivers licences - in the names of different women - to open bank accounts or set up businesses and facilitate the importation of drugs.
The $300 million ice importation that made headlines after it was intercepted by Australian Border Force (ABF) in October was allegedly sent to one of the addresses connected to a business Vracar allegedly set up.
However, she has not been charged with drug importation charges.
Four men have already been charged over the ice bust, including one man who allegedly moved the consignment from Wetherill Park to Minchinbury.
The 36-year-old Plumpton man was charged with drug supply and importation offences.
Two Victorian men, 30 and 34, were arrested the following day at a car park in Sydney's CBD and charged with the same offences.
Another man was charged with possessing identification to commit a serious offence for allegedly using false documents to lease a property used in the syndicate.
At the time, ABF said the methods used to conceal the drugs in the Sriracha were complex, including suspending the methamphetamine in the sauce.