A MAN has been charged over the importation of 100 kilograms of meth found in a shipment at Port Botany, on its way to a storage facility used by a freight forwarder.

The meth was concealed in the soles of leather shoes, shipped in six boxes from Thailand.

So-called Operation Birkin began in April 2024 when Australian Border Force officers examined the consignment on its arrival at the port. It was addressed to a Western Sydney storage facility.

After further investigation, Australian Federal Police undertook a controlled operation and allegedly observed a Malaysian national, 49, attempting to collect the consignment using forged identification on 6 May.

The man was unable to collect the consignment and was observed driving south on the Hume Highway toward Melbourne.  

AFP investigators identified the man and on Thursday 9 May executed a search warrant at his home in Burwood, Victoria.

Investigators found two mobile devices allegedly used to facilitate the importation as well as the fake license provided to the freight forwarder.

The man was charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of meth. The offence carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

“We will allege this man was willing to drive up to Sydney at short notice to collect this consignment, but the AFP stopped the onward distribution of these drugs, preventing millions of dollars from entering the criminal economy,” AFP Sergeant Alex Drummond said.

ABF Inspector Marc Rea said the operation had prevented $92 million worth of meth from ending up on the streets.

“ABF officers were quick to note the anomalies within this consignment, identifying a large quantity of methamphetamine which equates to approximately one million individual street deals,” he said.

The man appeared before Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday 10 May and was refused bail. He is due to return to the same court on 30 August 2024.