The husband of an Instagram-famous pole dancer has been accused of masterminding a $64million cocaine smuggling plot where drugs were stashed in the underside of a cargo ship

The husband of an Instagram-famous pole dancer has been accused of masterminding a $64million cocaine smuggling plot where drugs were stashed in the underside of a cargo ship.

Bondi fitness instructor Julian Lee was arrested at his home in Sydney’s east last week in the latest arrest resulting from the hi-tech AN0M sting, where police invented an encrypted messaging app for criminals and used it to read their texts.

A tip off from Australian investigators led Belgian authorities to find 216kg of cocaine hidden in the hull of a fruit juice tanker heading from Brazil to Australia via Europe last Monday. 

Four days later, Lee, 41, was arrested at the home he shares with his wife, the Sydney police-dancing influencer ‘Dirdy Birdy’, who has more than 100,000 instagram reseller panel followers and her own activewear range.

Lee was charged with directing a criminal group and leading a conspiracy to import a commercial quantity of drugs.  

The mammoth alleged drug bust came about after the AFP intercepted ‘scant’ , intelligence about the shipment via Operation Ironside.  

Bondi fitness instructor Julian Lee, 41 (pictured with his wife Hoang Anh Lee, better known as Dirdy Birdy) is accused of directing a plot to import 216kg of cocaine from Brazil, with the drugs stashed in the underside of a cargo ship

Bondi fitness instructor Julian Lee, 41 (pictured with his wife Hoang Anh Lee, better known as Dirdy Birdy) is accused of directing a plot to import 216kg of cocaine from Brazil, with the drugs stashed in the underside of a cargo ship

Bondi fitness instructor Julian Lee, 41 (pictured with his wife Hoang Anh Lee, better known as Dirdy Birdy) is accused of directing a plot to import 216kg of cocaine from Brazil, with the drugs stashed in the underside of a cargo ship

DirdyBirdy - real name Hoang Anh Le - is the Lee's husband and boasts more than 100,000 Instagram followers. There is no suggestion she was involved in her lover's alleged conspiracy

DirdyBirdy - real name Hoang Anh Le - is the Lee's husband and boasts more than 100,000 Instagram followers. There is no suggestion she was involved in her lover's alleged conspiracy

DirdyBirdy – real name Hoang Anh Le – is the Lee’s husband and boasts more than 100,000 Instagram followers.

There is no suggestion she was involved in her lover’s alleged conspiracy

Ironside is the AFP program which saw fake encrypted branded messaging technology distributed among organised crime gangs.

AN0M technology became popular among global crime syndicates – but unknowingly let police read every word they wrote. 

The operation has resulted in the arrests of more than 800 people in Australia, the United States and Europe.

It has kneecapped mafia and bikie organisations, busting drug and gun smuggling conspiracies and prevented some 21 murders, authorities insist.  

Acting off vague intelligence, Border Force officers recently pinned down which ship was transporting Lee’s alleged drug load.

Belgian authorities raided the cargo hauler last Monday after it arrived at the port town of Ghent in the European nation’s north-west.

Police divers allegedly found three camouflaged bags of cocaine stashed in the vessel’s ‘sea chest’. 

A sea chest is an opening in a ship’s hull under the water line, where water is pumped to either fill ballast tanks or cool the engine room. 

Prosecutors will allege that Lee was arranging for a dive team to retrieve the packages from the bottom of the ship when it arrived in Australia.   

Lee, 41, is led away by police in handcuffs on Friday following his arrest

Lee, 41, is led away by police in handcuffs on Friday following his arrest

Lee, 41, is led away by police in handcuffs on Friday following his arrest

Three alleged camouflaged bags of cocaine was found inside the vessel's sea chest last Monday (some of the contraband is pictured above)

Three alleged camouflaged bags of cocaine was found inside the vessel's sea chest last Monday (some of the contraband is pictured above)

Three alleged camouflaged bags of cocaine was found inside the vessel’s sea chest last Monday (some of the contraband is pictured above)

The Australian Federal Police estimated the drugs were valued at 10million Euros, or about $AUD64million

The Australian Federal Police estimated the drugs were valued at 10million Euros, or about $AUD64million

Pallets of cocaine are stacked by the camouflaged bags they were found in, above

Pallets of cocaine are stacked by the camouflaged bags they were found in, above

The Australian Federal Police estimated the drugs were valued at 10million Euros, or about $AUD64million

Lee has been charged with three offences, including possessing a prohibited weapon. 

The conspiracy charge alone carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, which Lee would face if found guilty. 

The three camouflaged bags that were found in the ship's hull

The three camouflaged bags that were found in the ship's hull

The three camouflaged bags that were found in the ship’s hull

Mr Lee’s wife has locked down her social media profiles, setting her popular Instagram-page to private, and limiting her Facebook page to a picture of a cat. 

Another man, 40, who is currently awaiting trial on separate offences, has also been charged in connection with the conspiracy. 

Lee will face Central Local Court on Wednesday where his bail will be reviewed by a magistrate. 

Detective Superintendent Elias Petropoulos said the bust was a warning to organised crime groups that the fallout from Operation Ironside continues. 

‘We will not let these criminals profit at the expense of our communities,’ Detective Superintendent Petropoulos said. 

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