A SYDNEY man has been charged over a shipment of methamphetamine hidden in an air cargo consignment of picture frames.
Australian Federal Police launched an investigation in June this year after receiving a report from the Thailand Airport Interdiction Taskforce (AITF) about an air cargo consignment sent to Sydney via Bangkok.
AITF had intercepted the consignment at Suvarnabhumi Airport. They found the six picture frames contained a total of seven kilograms of meth and it with an inert substance.
The consignment arrived at Sydney International Airport on 9 June. A controlled delivery to the intended address in North Ryde was attempted, however the consignment was not collected.
AFP conducted further enquiries and identified a 24-year-old man allegedly linked to the consignment.
AFP officers executed a search warrant at the man’s Auburn home on 30 August 2023 and found what was believed to be 15 kilograms of cocaine in cat food packaging, five kilograms of an amphetamine type substance in heat-sealed foil bags and 3.5 kilograms of a methamphetamine precursor in bath bombs.
Officers seized chemicals consistent with manufacturing methamphetamine and 25 newly registered SIM cards.
Officers also searched a storage unit in Chullora on 1 September and seized 522 boxes of bath bombs that police believe was a cover load for the imported methamphetamine precursor from Vietnam.
Following forensic examinations of the man’s mobile phone, a third search warrant was executed at a postage facility in Adelaide, which led to the seizure of two bags containing the methamphetamine precursor and iodine.
Police believe the man was contacted by an individual in China who offered him $5000 to collect the consignment and deliver it to another person.
AFP Sergeant Alex Drummond said the range of drugs concealed across a number of properties highlighted how criminal groups try to evade law enforcement.
“The AFP wants to paint a very clear picture for those who intend to import these harmful substances into the country – you will be arrested and charged,” Sergeant Drummond said.
“Methamphetamine and other drugs have a devastating impact on individuals and our communities which is why we’re committed to prosecuting those responsible.”
The man was charged in relation to pre-trafficking a commercial quantity of controlled precursors and attempting to possess a commercial quantity of border-controlled drugs.
He was refused bail on 31 August 2023.