Two Sydney men faced court yesterday (Friday) for allegedly importing 63 kilograms of methamphetamine hidden inside shipping pallets from Malaysia. The consignment has an estimated street value of $18.9-million.
A 36-year-old Bexley man and a 27-year-old Merrylands man were arrested on Thursday after Australian Federal Police officers conducted a controlled delivery of the consignment to an address in Guildford West.
The investigation began in March when a consignment labelled as mop buckets was examined by the Australian Border Force in Sydney.
Further forensic examination revealed 18 wooden pallets had methamphetamine concealed within the wooden slats, with approximately 63 kilograms uncovered by the ABF investigators.
Face maximum penalty of life imprisonment
Subsequent police enquiries identified the 27-year-old Merrylands man as the alleged recipient of the shipment. Members of the Federal Police then executed a search warrant at a Bexley residence linked to the 36-year-old man.
The two men were charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of unlawfully imported border-controlled drugs. The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.
Both accused appeared in Sydney’s Central Local Court and were refused bail.
AFP acting Commander Crime, Geoff Turner, said despite the creativity offenders displayed when trying to import drugs into the country, Australian authorities were one-step ahead.
‘You name it; they’ve tried to hide drugs in it’
“You name it; they’ve tried to hide drugs in it. Nevertheless, we are dedicated to stopping these harmful drugs reaching our communities and harming countless Australians,” Turner stated.
ABF Port Operations East Acting Commander, Brendan Slape, said the ABF is committed to working with its law enforcement partners to stop these dangerous drugs at the border.
“This operation shows it’s not just imported items that ABF officers are examining for hidden drug concealments. The packaging around those items is heavily scrutinised too,” Slape said.
“The ABF knows [that] the methods criminals use to conceal illicit drugs are constantly evolving. That’s why ABF officers use technological advancements, intelligence analysis and their unique skills to keep on top of the latest trends and concealment methods.”