A JOINT operation by the Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force has resulted in the seizure of 80 kilograms of MDMA (ecstasy) apparently destined for Sydney.

The operation also resulted in the arrest of a United States national. The 21-year-old man was arrested by AFP officers at Sydney International Airport this week as he sought to board a flight home.

The MDMA was detected on Tuesday when ABF officers examined an electro-magnet that arrived into Sydney via air cargo from Germany.

AFP forensic members found 83 bags of “a brown crystalline substance in a cavity in the device”.


Investigators identified the 21-year-old man as the intended recipient of the consignment, and he subsequently arrived on a flight into Melbourne on 13 February.

It is to be alleged he travelled to Sydney and made several attempts to collect the consignment.

When those attempts failed, he attempted to board a flight to Hawaii.

AFP Detective Superintendent Nathan Barron said further investigation with domestic and international partners would further examine the role of organised crime groups.

“Investigators believe the man arrested… was acting on behalf of a larger organised crime syndicate to ensure this MDMA arrived in Australia,” Superintendent Barron said.