TWO Sydney men are due to face the Parramatta Local Court on drugs charges following a joint-agency investigation into the importation of about 11.3 kilograms of cocaine inside an alternator from Chile.

The cocaine was discovered on 11 September 2020, after a shipping container arrived in Port Botany from Chile the previous day. Australian Border Force officers conducted an examination of the alternator within the container and detected anomalies within it.

ABF officers found a component of the alternator was made from fibreglass to look like metal. Further examination of the compartment identified 10 packages wrapped in silver tape.

An examination of the packages revealed a white powder inside which tested positive to cocaine.

The Australian Federal Police began an investigation into the matter. Investigators identified two properties suspected of being linked to the importation. Search warrants were executed on these two premises in the Sydney suburbs of Sylvania Waters and North Rocks on 2 October 2020.

Further investigations led to search warrants being executed on 9 October 2020 in Dundas Valley and Eastwood with the assistance of the AFP’s National Anti-Gangs Squad and NSW Police Strike Force Raptor. Two men were subsequently arrested.

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A 37-year-old Dundas Valley man was arrested and charged with a range of offences.

A 51-year-old Eastwood man, a Chilean national, was arrested and also charged.

The men face a potential maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.

Access free 24/7 drug and alcohol counselling online at www.counsellingonline.org.au.

For information about drug and alcohol addiction treatment or support, go to www.turningpoint.org.au.

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