TWO people have been charged for attempting to import 50 kilograms of methamphetamine into Australia, concealed in a shipping container.
Australian Federal Police investigators seized the meth on 1 August 2023 after Australian Border Force officers examined the container and found drugs concealed within five plastic shipping pallets.
After removing the drugs, the AFP followed the consignment to a commercial property in south-west Sydney.
Authorities believe the Sydney couple – a 34-year-old man and a 30-year-old-woman – diverted the consignment on a number of occasions to attempt to obfuscate law enforcement.
Police also believe the couple followed the delivery during the diversions before finally taking possession of it at a storage unit in Waterloo.
The AFP searched the home address of the couple in Surry Hills and the storage unit in Waterloo.
Investigators seized an encrypted communications device and other mobile phones, pallets removed from the consignment and a number of substances suspected to be border controlled drugs.
The couple were charged for attempting to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported border controlled drug.
They were due to appear before Downing Centre Local Court on 15 November 2023 after having been arrested and remanded into custody on 18 September 2023.
The maximum penalty for their offence is life imprisonment.
AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Jeremy Staunton said it will be alleged the couple went to great effort to distance themselves from the shipment.
“The AFP cannot put it more simply than to say those who intend to import harmful substances into the country – you are firmly in our sights,” Det. a/Supt Staunton said.
“Methamphetamine and other drugs have a devastating impact on individuals and our communities, which is why we are committed to prosecuting those responsible for importing it into Australia.
A/g ABF Superintendent Marc Rea said the ABF stays one step ahead of criminal groups to detect any creative or complex concealment of illicit substances.
“Criminals may think due to the size of shipping containers and cargo ships their drug concealment won’t be detected, but this isn’t the case,” A/g Superintendent Rea said.
“The technology at our disposal is increasingly sophisticated and constantly evolving, and we will continue to foil attempts such as this so that we can keep Australians safe by maintaining the integrity of our border.”