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Organised Crime Squad detectives have charged a man in Sydney as part of ongoing investigations into the alleged air-cargo importation of cocaine worth an estimated $2.7 million concealed in clay blocks.

On 25 April, officers from the Australian Border Force identified a consignment which arrived in Sydney from the UK.

The air-cargo consignment – which was declared to contain two clay blocks – was examined by ABF officers, who noted inconsistencies.

During a subsequent deconstruction, the consignment was found to contain 9 kilograms of compacted white powder within the items.

The powder was tested and returned a presumptive positive result for cocaine, which authorities estimate has a potential street value of $2.7 million.

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Inquiries were subsequently commenced by detectives from the State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Squad under Strike Force Ortella.

Detectives were also assisted throughout the investigation by the Australian Federal Police and NSW Crime Commission.

Following investigations, detectives, with assistance from the Public Order and Riot Squad and AFP officers, arrested a 23-year-old man at Chertsey Avenue, Bankstown, just before 7pm on 28 April.

A search warrant was subsequently executed at a home on Cherstey Avenue, where officers seized documentation and a Holden HSV Commodore – believed to be stolen.

The man was taken to Bankstown Police Station and charged with possess commercial quantity suspect illegal import border control drug.

The Bankstown man was refused bail and is due to appear at Bankstown Local Court on 29 April. Investigations are continuing.

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