AUSTRALIAN Federal Police has launched an investigation after 50 kilograms of cocaine was found hidden inside a containerised shipment of plastic furniture bound for Sydney from South America.
Authorities examined the pallets containing plastic chairs, tables and cabinets and located two black duffel bags containing 50 bricks of a white substance hidden underneath.
Presumptive testing indicated the suspected presence of cocaine and law enforcement then seized the consignment for investigation.
The AFP said further forensic testing would determine the purity of the cocaine and investigations remain ongoing into the intended recipients of the drugs in Australia.
Police are urging anyone with information about furniture importations scheduled from South America to please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppers.com.au.
The container arrived in NSW earlier this month (October 2023).
AFP Detective Superintendent Kristie Cressy said the AFP worked closely with its law enforcement partner agencies to ensure Australia remained a hostile environment for criminal syndicates attempting to import illicit drugs into the country.
“Criminals may work hard to plan and execute elaborate schemes to import illicit drugs into Australia, but the AFP and its state, Commonwealth and international law enforcement partners work harder to detect concealments of any nature,” Detective Superintendent Cressy said.
“The focus of our ongoing investigation remains on identifying and locating the transnational serious organised crime groups responsible for this attempted import, and the people working for them in Australia to receive and distribute these drugs.
“We urge anyone with information about this importation to please contact authorities – you can remain anonymous.”