Mende Rajkoski, 42, of Sydney, was one of three men detained in connection with the suspected conspiracy on Thursday. Early this year, he was caught laundering money through Star's gaming machines, forcing officials to conduct a secret investigation into his finances.
This led them to uncover an alleged plot to transport three tons of cocaine out of South America, which resulted in the greatest ever cocaine intercept in Australia.
The US Navy captured 870 kilograms of cocaine from two speedboats off the coast of Colombia in October, based on data from Australian authorities, according to NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith.
NSW police created a copy of the haul from a photograph obtained during the April raid, which was moved to a storage facility and used in a sting operation.
Rajkoski was apprehended as he arrived to collect what he believed to be millions of dollars in cocaine. Nikolao Misa, 37, and Gjelosh Nikollaj, 58, both from Sydney, were captured shortly thereafter.
Misa is the managing director of Shield Venue Security. Nikolajj was on parole after serving a drugs smuggling term in 2006.
Rajkoski and Misa had previously worked at Sydney Airport's cargo supply section. During this period, police believe the two were involved in more drugs smuggling schemes.
“This organization was in the throes of breaking the 900 kilos of replacement drug onto the streets of Sydney before the arrest yesterday, and it would have done so quickly,” Smith said.
“In Colombia, farmers earn roughly two dollars a day. The cartels make $3.80 per gram, and it's worth $400 per gram by the time it passes through the hands of an international syndicate and reaches the streets of Sydney.”
Financial criminality at Australian casinos has recently received a lot of attention. Crown Resorts, a rival of Star, lost its Sydney license because it was found to have helped criminal organizations launder money. Those with ties to the famous triad narcotics gang "the Company" were among those arrested.
The Company, also known as Sam Gor, is suspected of being responsible for up to 70% of all illegal narcotics carried into Australia in the last 20 years.
Illicit behavior on the casino floor appears to have been noticed immediately and reported to authorities in this case.