Dimitros "Jimmy" Samsonidis, an associate of the Mokbel and Moran drug gangs, was arresteed in Athens while attempting to smuggle a ton of ephedrine into Australia.
He was in the process of setting up a factory in Melbourne to turn the ephedrine into the deadly drug ice and an estimated 80 million speed tablets.
A three-year investigation by Australian Federal Police, the US Drug Enforcement Administration and Greek police foiled Samsonidis' plan to flood Australia with amphetamine products.
It also smashed an international syndicate that was operating out of Greece and sending drugs to Australia, Latin America and several European countries.
In an unrelated drug bust, the AFP yesterday revealed an international crime taskforce had dismantled a Canadian-based Asian drug syndicate that tried to smuggle tens of millions of dollars of drugs into Australia.
Samsonidis was living the high-life in the Athens seaside resort of Lagonisi.
Greek police seized a Porsche Cayenne and property and cash worth millions of dollars from Samsonidis.
When police raided his Athens mansion they found a sub-machinegun, a pistol and a large amount of ammunition.
Samsonidis and former Sydney drug dealer Konstantinos Skouras were allegedly running the company in charge of reviewing security at Greece's largest port at the time of their arrest in May 2006.
This gave them intimate knowledge of how to get around security measures at the port of Piraeus, from where the drugs were to be shipped.
The Greek Supreme Court last month ordered an investigation into how their company, European Security, was given the government contract to review port security.
It is also examining the role of a former Greek MP who used to be married to Skouras' sister and is now managing director of European Security.
Although born in Greece, Samsonidis, 53, spent most of his adult life in Melbourne and was jailed in Victoria for manslaughter in the 1970s.
Police intelligence files list him as one of Australia's most prolific heroin dealers during the late 1980s.
He was a director of a number of legitimate companies in Melbourne between 1994 and 2004, and invested heavily in amusement arcades. He allegedly used to own Carlton's Woolpack Hotel.
Samsonidis was a close associate of drug gang patriarch Lewis Moran, his son Jason and stepson Mark – all murdered during Melbourne's gangland war.
Samsonidis also had many illegal dealings with convicted cocaine smuggler Tony Mokbel.
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