There’s been a major development in the search for Sydney model Revelle Balmain following her baffling disappearance 27 years ago.
Five people have been arrested on unrelated charges, just days after detectives launched a new investigation into the mystery.
Ms Balmain was 22 when she vanished without a trace on November 5, 1994.
NSW Police announced on Thursday night that they arrested five men after dismantling an organised crime syndicate that allegedly grew cannabis and coordinated the theft and sale of luxury goods.
It comes after officers executed search warrants at four properties of interest in the CBD and across the city’s east, from which they seized a number of items.
“During the searches, strike force investigators uncovered three hydroponic cannabis cultivation set-ups and seized hundreds of thousands of dollars in luxury goods, including designer handbags, watches, shoes and high-end wine,” NSW Police said in a statement on Thursday night.
A 63-year-old was charged with 36 offences and refused bail to appear in Central Local Court on Friday.
He has not been charged over Revelle’s disappearance and suspected murder.
Four other men were also charged.
The development comes after police this week launched a renewed search for the missing model at eastern Sydney properties in hopes it could provide the breakthrough they need in the case.
Despite extensive investigations by police at the time and over the years, no one has been charged in relation to Ms Balmain’s disappearance.
A $1 million reward was announced in May for information about her fate.
Strike Force Aramac lead investigator Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Bell said officers are reviewing all previous evidence, as well as exploring new lines of inquiry.
“This includes whether Revelle was scheduled to meet with any individuals – clients, friends or associates – previously unknown to police, on the evening of her disappearance,” Det Ch Insp Bell said on Tuesday.
“The locations that are being searched today will be subject to an extensive forensic examination by specialist officers.
“We are now exploring a new line of inquiry and believe these locations are of significance and will help us progress the investigation.”
– With AAP