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The Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) have seized more than 100 kilograms of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of approximately $65 million as part of a joint operation.
A Malaysian national and a Hong Kong national have been charged with serious drug offences for their involvement in the importation.
The operation began on 8 February when ACBPS officers at the Sydney Container Examination Facility targeted a container from China declared to be “Kids toys”.
During the examination, ACBPS officers located a false floor in the container which concealed a hidden compartment. The crystallised substance when tested indicated a positive reaction to methamphetamine. This compartment contained 100 kilograms of a white crystallised substance.
AFP officers conducted a controlled delivery yesterday where the consignment was delivered to an address in Prestons, NSW. Subsequently a 30-year-old Hong Kong national and a 37-year-old Malaysian national were arrested in a car park in Prestons.
AFP Acting Manager Serious and Organised Crime Arthur Moerman said this operation is an example of Australian law enforcement agencies cooperating effectively to target illicit drug importations.
“Those that seek to import dangerous drugs such as methamphetamine will continue to face the combined efforts of Australian law enforcement partners,” Acting Commander Moerman said.
ACBPS Regional Commander NSW, Tim Fitzgerald, emphasised the importance of the seizure for community safety.
“Australia’s law enforcement agencies are working together to protect the Australian community from harmful substances. The seizure and resulting arrests prevented the production and distribution of a significant quantity of methamphetamines,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
“This was a complex concealment clearly designed to evade law enforcement detection, however our expert x-ray image analysis and enforcement officers have once again proven that crime doesn’t pay.”
Investigations are ongoing and the AFP has not ruled out further arrests.
Charge and court information:
The men will both face Sydney Magistrates Court today (26 February). The men were each charged with:
- Importation of a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine, contrary to section 307.1 of the Criminal Code (Cth);
- Attempt to possess a commercial quantity of unlawfully imported border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine, contrary to section 307.5 and by virtue 11.1 of the Criminal Code (Cth); and
- Aid and abet the importation of a border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine, contrary to section 307.1 and by virtue 11.2 of the Criminal Code (Cth).