POLICE have arrested a man during an investigation into a syndicate suspected of using air cargo to import drugs into Western Australia.

Authorities launched the drug trafficking investigation in January after Australian Border Force officers at the Perth Air Cargo facility detected around one kilogram of methamphetamine in a package sent from the United States.

The delivery dress was a post box at a suburban shopping centre. ABF officers alerted the Australian Federal Police.

The ABF then seized another four consignments addressed to different people but suspected to be linked. Each package contained around two kilograms of meth.  

All five packages were sent from the US and were to be delivered by couriers to parcel lockers in Perth.

The AFP arrested and charged a 22-year-old Canadian national on 16 January after he tried to collect a parcel that allegedly contained around two kilograms of meth.

Officers said the man arrived in Australia (from Canada) less than a week before he was arrested.

AFP officers searched the hotel room in Perth, where they believe the man was staying, and found another kilogram of meth believed to be from a similar air cargo consignment.

Police will allege the man “struggled with officers” during his arrest, with AFP members sustaining minor injuries.

AFP Inspector Matt Taylor said drug importers often used delivery services, parcel lockers and false details for the sender and recipient to attempt to avoid law enforcement detection.

 “While most air mail or air cargo imports might seem like relatively small amounts of illicit substances – anywhere from five grams to several kilograms – combined, they equate to millions of individual street deals that cause significant harm to the community,” he said.

“We suspect the packages were all sent from the same source and we are investigating who sent them, in conjunction with our international law enforcement partners via the AFP’s International Command.

“Transnational serious organised crime groups often use small high-volume imports to generate funds for more or larger shipments. This is why the AFP works closely with ABF in WA and other partners locally and internationally to disrupt all levels of the drug trade.”

ABF Superintendent James Payne said the Australian border is one of the nation’s most critical assets.

“The ABF, along with our law enforcement partners, will continue to make the border a hostile environment for criminals trying to import illicit drugs,” he said.

The man first appeared in Perth Magistrates Court on 17 January this year and was remanded in custody to reappear on Friday (10 February).