POLICE have charged two people for their roles in a plot to import 600 kilograms of cocaine into Australia in a container packed with fruit kiosks.

The Dutch national (25) and Australian national (49) appeared in court on 7 March following an investigation into a consignment that arrived in Australia on 8 February.

Australian Federal Police and Brazilian authorities began a joint investigation in November 2023 after a consignment described as fruit kiosks, bound for Australia, was found to contain 600 kilograms of cocaine.

The Department of Federal Police of Brazil (DPF) and Department of Federal Revenue of Brazil – Customs (Receita Federal) found the drugs in the walls and floors of each of the four the kiosk units.

DPF and Receita Federal officers removed the drugs and forwarded the consignment to its intended address in Sydney.

Once the consignment reached Australia, it was collected and delivered to an industrial storage warehouse in the western Sydney suburb of North Rocks on Wednesday 6 March.

That day, AFP officers allegedly saw the two men arrive at the warehouse and stay “numerous hours” with the roller door closed, exiting intermittently to obtain tools and other instruments suspected to be used to access the consignment.

When the men attempted to leave the warehouse later in the afternoon, they were arrested and charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of border-controlled drugs.

AFP officers searched the warehouse and found four refrigerated fruit kiosks, two of which were partially unwrapped.

They believe the men had used a variety of tools to cut open parts of the kiosks, including sections where the cocaine had previously been removed by the DPF and Receita Federal in Brazil.

AFP also searched a vehicle the men were using, seizing 15 large sports-style duffle bags, two mobile phones, credit cards, receipts and numerous power tools.

The men appeared before Downing Centre Local Court on 7 March. They were refused bail and are scheduled to appear before Sydney Local Court on 15 May 2024.

If convicted, the men face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

AFP Commander Kate Ferry said an import of this size could have accounted for about three million individual “street deals” of cocaine.

Police estimate the value of the drugs to be about $195 million.

“Investigations into the origin of the drugs remain ongoing, and we will work with our international and domestic law enforcement partners to identify any other involved in facilitating this import and it’s intended onward distribution,” Commander Ferry said.

“The AFP will continue to make Australia a hostile environment for criminal syndicates attempting to smuggle and profit from harmful drugs, at the expense of the Australian people.”

Police have urged anyone with information about the shipment to come forward and contract Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.