This is a joint media release with the Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force.
Editor’s note: Footage of the arrest is available via Hightail.
A 35-year-old Sydney man is scheduled to face Downing Center Local Court today (17 June) after the AFP charged him with importing 233kg of methamphetamine into Australia.
The investigation began in March 2022 when the Australian Border Force (ABF) examined a container filled with 10 boxes described as structural supports, which had been shipped from China.
A thorough inspection of the boxes revealed a white, powdered substance secreted inside the consignment. Presumptive testing indicated the presence of methamphetamine, leading AFP forensic officers to undertake a more detailed examination of the shipment.
Police removed 233kg of methamphetamine, which has an estimated street value of $70 million.
AFP officers undertook a two-month investigation, which resulted in the execution of a search warrant at the 35-year-old man’s home in Auburn yesterday (16 June).
Officers also seized a large amount of evidence, including various documentation and email account details, which they will allege links the man to the shipment.
The man was arrested and charged with:
- Import a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine, contrary to section 307.1 Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
- Attempt to possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine, contrary to section 307.5, and 11.1(1) Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
The maximum penalty for these offenses is life imprisonment.
Detective Superintendent Matthew Ciantar said operations like this send a very strong message that Australia is not an easy target for criminals seeking to import drugs.
“Despite efforts by criminal networks to evade detection, authorities are continuing to identify and disrupt the syndicates who attempt to break Australian law,” Det. Supt. Ciantar said.
“The AFP and our partners will continue to stop these harmful drugs from reaching the streets and affecting the communities in which we all live and work.”
ABF Commander Trade and Travel East Sue Drennan said anyone considering importing drugs into Australia should consider this a warning.
“ABF officers are on the front line every single day ensuring Australia’s borders are protected from criminals attempting to import drugs and threatening the safety of our community,” Commander Drennan said.
“To those who think they will get away with this crime, know that we are working closely with law enforcement partners to ensure you will not.”
Note to media:
Media are encouraged to include help-seeking information in stories about illicit drugs to minimise any negative impact on people in the community. The following services provide people with access to support and information.
- 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 counseling online at www.counsellingonline.org.au.
- For information about drug and alcohol addiction treatment or support, go to www.turningpoint.org.au.