Monday 22nd Oct, 2018

Drugs discovered in sea cargo

Photo: ABF
Photo: ABF

THE Australian Border Force has discovered a huge haul of drugs hidden in a caravan that had been shipped from the UK to Sydney.

Officers found 91 kilograms of MDMA and 3 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, known in Australia as ice; police reckon the drugs have a street value of more than $5m.

On 15 April the ABF identified the sea-cargo consignment as being of interest and x-rayed the caravan at the Sydney Container Examination Facility.

The x-rays revealed “anomalies” and the ABF Detector Dog Unit was called in, with the canines giving a “positive reaction”.

Officers then got to work taking apart the caravan and found the drugs hidden in three cavities.

ON Saturday 28 April, the AFP stepped in, with investigators delivering the caravan after removing the drugs.

And sure enough, two men were waiting for the arrival of the caravan and were duly arrested in St Ives, Sydney.

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 (otherwise called MDMA or ecstasy) and another for  methamphetamine; the charges carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

ABF regional Commander NSW Danielle Yannopoulos said after identifying the shipment was of interest the ABF used its “cutting-edge” x-ray technology and “world-class” detector dogs to locate the drugs.

“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,” Commander Yannopoulos said.

AFP Detective Superintendent Gerard Fletcher said the drugs would have had “profound and tragic” impacts on individuals, families and the broader community.

“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,” Detective Superintendent Fletcher said.

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