Two men have faced court for allegedly attempting to smuggle 91kg of MDMA and 3kg of ice into Australia, with the illicit drugs hidden in a caravan shipped from the UK.
On 15 April, the Australian Border Force (ABF) identified the sea cargo consignment from the United Kingdom as being of interest and conducted further examinations at the Sydney Container Examination Facility (CEF).
After anomalies were noted during x-ray of the caravan, the ABF Detector Dog Unit also attended with the dogs giving a positive reaction.
Officers deconstructed the caravan and found the drugs, which have an estimated street value of more than $5 million, hidden within three cavities.
On Saturday 28 April, AFP investigators conducted a controlled delivery, removing the drugs and allowing the caravan to continue to its destination. Police arrested two men who were awaiting the caravan’s arrival in St Ives, Sydney.
AFP Detective Superintendent Gerard Fletcher said the operation shows the importance of the AFP and ABF working together to stop the harmful substances reaching the Australian community.
“This is a marketable amount of drugs we know have profound and tragic impacts on individuals, families and the broader community,” Detective Superintendent Fletcher said.
“The AFP and ABF play an important role in stopping the trafficking of these kinds of harmful substances and we hope this sends a message: if you’re thinking of buying, selling or transporting illicit drugs, it’s simply not worth the risk.”
ABF Regional Commander NSW Danielle Yannopoulos said this detection is yet another example that shows the effectiveness of the ABF’s targeted, multi-layered approach to protecting the border and the Australian community.
“After successfully identifying this as a shipment of interest, we’ve used our cutting-edge x-ray technology and world-class detector dogs to locate a significant amount of dangerous drugs before they could reach the community,” Commander Yannopoulos said.
“We’ve recently invested in upgrades to our x-ray facilities at our CEFs, including in Sydney, giving our officers the ability to see further into each consignment and a greater ability to detect the complex concealments that are increasingly being used by organised crime groups.”
The two men have each been charged with two counts of importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug – one for 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and another for methamphetamine – contrary to section 307.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
These charges carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
The men, who appeared before Parramatta Local Court on 29 April 2018, did not apply for bail and will reappear in Central Local Court on 2 May 2018.