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Hunter Valley Police allege seized cocaine 'destined' for the Scone Cup

Police say the licensee of the Thoroughbred Hotel in Scone has been arrested. (ABC Upper Hunter: Bridget Murphy)

NSW Police have arrested a pub licensee as part of investigations into alleged drug supply activity ahead of a major horse racing event in the Hunter Valley this weekend.

The licensee of the Thoroughbred Hotel in Scone is among three men arrested on drug supply charges, following what police have described as an "extensive investigation".

The Scone Cup starts tomorrow and is one of the biggest horse racing events in the state, attracting thousands of visitors to the small Upper Hunter town.

Officers from Strike Force Bunks, which was established by Hunter Valley police in December 2021, swooped on Wednesday.

There is no suggestion the arrests are linked to this week’s massive cocaine haul at the Port of Newcastle.

A 37-year-old man was arrested at the Thoroughbred Hotel about 3pm, before the premises was searched as well as two homes in the Scone area.

The annual Scone Cup is Australia's richest country race meeting. (ABC Upper Hunter: Jake Lapham)

Detective Inspector Matt Zimmer told the ABC that the police will allege that the man was involved in the supply of cocaine "on an ongoing basis in the Scone area".

"It became evident to us that the cocaine seized by police yesterday was destined for supply and use over the course of the next few days, coinciding with the Scone Cup," he said.

Forensic testing

Police say a number of items were seized and will undergo forensic examination.

The man is facing six charges including drug possession and supply, and police will also allege he was supplying prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis, and permitted the sale of drugs at the licensed premises.

Det. Insp. Zimmer said the seized substance was undergoing forensic testing to determine its purity, and will allege the amount is a "greater than an indictable quantity".

One man was arrested in Scone, while two more were charged in Sydney. All three will front Scone Local Court next month. (ABC Upper Hunter: Bridget Murphy)

Earlier arrests

Meanwhile, Surry Hills detectives arrested two men, aged 30 and 42, at a local hotel earlier on Wednesday.

During a subsequent search of the men, who police say are also from Scone, police will allege they located cocaine and cannabis, which were seized for forensic examination.

The pair was charged with supply and possession offences and granted bail.

The three men will appear in Scone Local Court next month.

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Dive Deeper:
Men charged over alleged drug supply at Scone
Three men have been charged with drug-related offences following an extensive investigation in the Hunter.
Crack cocaine and heroin seized after 'numerous' drug deals
A 55-year-old man and 63-year-old woman were arrested following seizures
Sydney News: Investigation launched into Sydney Council over Mascot Tower safety saga
MORNING BRIEFING: An investigation will be launched into the former City of Botany Bay Council’s handling of the Mascot Towers…
Police seek man and woman as investigations continue into cocaine diver's death in Newcastle
Police release CCTV images of two people they believe can help with inquiries over the death of a diver and…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Yacht captain James 'Jimmy' Blee, allegedly linked to dead cocaine diver, arrested trying to board international flight
A man allegedly linked to the death of a diver — along with the discovery of millions of dollars worth…
Police probe whether 'spectacular' Indonesian drug haul is linked to NSW's dead cocaine diver
An investigation is underway into whether a shipment of drugs discovered near a dead diver in the Port of Newcastle…
Get all your news in one place