A MAN has been charged over a shipment of methamphetamine sent from Malaysia to Australia hidden in gas heaters.
The Victorian man, 31, is the second man charged as a result of an investigation that began in December, after Australian Border Force officers in South Australia allegedly found 214 kilograms of meth inside the consignment of heaters.
The Australian Federal Police controlled the delivery of the consignment to a property in New South Wales.
While the AFP monitored the delivery address, the man allegedly went to the premises twice to collect items from the consignment before taking them to a residential property in Bella Vista, north-western Sydney.
The AFP executed a warrant at the Bella Vista property in December and charged a 35-year-old-man with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported, border-controlled drug.
After ongoing inquiries, the AFP executed another search warrant on 22 June 2023 at the home of the Victorian man and arrested him.
He faced Heidelberg Magistrates Court, where the AFP successfully applied to have him extradited to Sydney.
The man first appeared in a Sydney court on 23 June, where he was formally charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported, border-controlled drug.
The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.
AFP Commander Kate Ferry said the operation was a testament to the AFP’s co-operation with ABF and the Royal Malaysian Police and Customs Department.
“This amount of methamphetamine could have been sold as more than three million individual street deals, which would have diverted more than $192 million from the legitimate economy,” Commander Ferry said.
“Transnational organised crime networks that supply these substances pose a significant threat to Australia’s economy, our security and our way of life.”
ABF Acting Superintendent Tom Williams said criminals attempt all kinds of creative means to smuggle drugs across the border.
“Australia’s border is a critical national asset. We are acutely conscious of this fact and committed to protecting it and ensuring criminals fail in their attempts to undermine its integrity,” he said.