THE Australian Border Force have confirmed that two people have been arrested in relation to the seizure of 600 litres of liquid methamphetamine concealed inside cans of coconut milk.
In August, an air freight consignment with 86 boxes of coconut milk cans arrived into Sydney from Thailand.
Australian Border Force members examined the consignment and upon identifying anomalies, tested the liquid from one of the cans, which returned a positive result for methamphetamine.
The matter was referred to the Australian Federal Police and an investigation began.
On 9 September, AFP officers conducted a controlled delivery of the consignment to a warehouse in the suburb of Girraween, NSW where a 29-year-old woman and 20-year-old man were arrested after taking delivery of the consignment.
They were each charged with one count of attempting to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine, contrary to subsection 307.5(1) by virtue of section 11.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.
The total weight of the drugs is still being determined, but is estimated to be approximately 600 litres of methamphetamine.
AFP detective superintendent Geoffrey Turner said the dedicated officers working on this investigation are continuing enquiries into the source of the drugs and have not ruled out further arrests.
“We are still investigating this matter to determine the role of everyone involved in this large scale importation of liquid methamphetamine.”
“We will also liaise with our international partners to try and identify the organised crime syndicate behind this importation – only a well-resourced organised crime syndicate would be able to finance and facilitate an importation of this scale,” Mr Turner said.
ABF acting NSW regional commander Matthew O’Connor said this is a large detection of methamphetamine in an air cargo consignment and demonstrates the commitment of ABF officers to protect the Australia border.
“This is a clever concealment but our highly-trained officers come across tens-of-thousands of packages a week and they know if something isn’t right,” he said.
The man and woman were refused bail at Sydney Central Local Court on 10 September. Their next court date is 4 November 2020.