A man has been nabbed in a drug syndicate that imported $8 million worth of heroin - concealed in copy paper and wrapped in children's clothing - from Asia, with police hunting other members.
An investigation into illegal firearms in NSW resulted in a tip-off to police that a syndicate was preparing to import drugs to Australia.
Australian Border Force agents intercepted a package that arrived in Sydney airport from Thailand on May 1, with X-rays revealing 16 kilograms of heroin, disguised as copy paper wrapped in children's clothing.
Detective Chief Inspector Jason Weinstein said the estimated street value was close to $8 million or 160,000 hits of the deadly drug.
"Last year there was only about 4kg of heroin seized in NSW so 16kg is a significant dent in the availability today," he told reporters in Sydney on Friday.
The package led officers to a 45-year-old Asian man and a home in Cabramatta West.
During the search officers allegedly uncovered 27 cases of Johnny Walker blue label, valued at more than $30,000, along with mobile phones and documents.
The 45-year-old was arrested and charged with drug supply before being refused bail at Liverpool Local Court.
He is expected to re-appear in court on July 18.
Investigators are now targeting the man's co-conspirators, and further arrests are expected, ABF Superintendent Garry Low said.
"This syndicate now is faced with one member who has been put away and the investigation is continuing," Supt Low said.
Insp Weinstein said he's seen the problems heroin can cause and he was pleased 160,000 potentially fatal doses had been taken off the streets.
"Having worked in Cabramatta in the '90s and 2000s, when heroin was at its height, the devastation heroin causes not only from an addictive component but with the potential for overdose is very worrying," he said.
The syndicate members could face life in prison if they are found guilty, he added.