Just how does Australian Customs detect illegal importations

[24th May 2018] Australian Federal Police (AFP) charged a 48-year-old Sydney man for his alleged role in the importation of 59 kilograms of cocaine. Street value of this consignment in Australia is estimated to be $20.6 million.

AFP alleges that the man imported three containers with consignments of frozen fish from Peru into Australia. Concealed in two shipping containers were 59 kilograms of cocaine. There is no reliable information on the involvement of any Brisbane locale customs brokers in this case.

According to AFP, ‘dry run’ was between September 2017 and March 2018. AFP tracked two containers market frozen fish. These came from Peru to Sydney. Refrigeration unit of both containers turned out to be suspicious and x-ray examination was conducted.

On the basis of the x-ray examination, ABF officers decided to carry out further inspection. They removed panels from the container. Large number of taped packages was discovered in the cavities of both containers.

In one container the packages contained a total of approximately 29 kilograms of cocaine. In the second container they found approximately 30 kilograms of cocaine. Both consignments were forwarded to AFP for further investigation and necessary action.

Containers were delivered to an address in Kingsgrove after removing drugs. Still under AFP investigation, the containers and the fish contents were moved to various storage facilities in and around Sydney.

AFP alleges a 48-year-old Woolloomooloo man was connected to the importation. This was concluded after detailed investigation. After ABF intervention and a baggage examination, a man was arrested by the AFP on arrival at Sydney International Airport on 23 May 2018.

Charge levelled was importing a commercial quantity of cocaine, a border-controlled drug. This is chargeable under section 307.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.

This was another great example of Commonwealth law enforcement agency, working together to protect he community said ABF Acting Commander Enforcement Command Matt Stock.

Heroin Worth $8 Million Concealed In Children’s Clothing Seized

[18th May 2018] Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Drug and Firearms Squad received information about an importation conspiracy of heroin. Further investigation led to the identification of 16 kg of heroin. Estimated street value of this consignment is $ 8 million.

This was the result of a joint action taken by NSW Police Force and the Australian Border Force (ABF) through Strike Force Weenamana. Approximately 16kg of heroin was imported from Asia, concealed within a consignment of children’s clothing.

On the basis of the information received and the investigation conducted, ABF officers targeted a package sent via air cargo from Thailand. This arrived in Sydney on Tuesday 1 May 2018. Anomalies where noted when the package was examined and x-rayed. ABF officers unpacked the consignment and located children’s clothing concealing eight packets of ‘copy paper’. Positive result for heroin was confirmed on testing. Usually air cargo is cleared engaging a licensed customs broker.

Subsequent investigations identified the package had been delivered to a holding location in Sydney’s south-west.

This was received by a 45-year-old man on Wednesday 16 May 2018. Following this a search warrant was executed at a home at Cabramatta West and the man was arrested.

Police during the search seized good with a retail value of more than $ 30,000. This included mobile phones, documentation, and 27 cases of Johnny Walker Blue Label.

The accused taken to Fairfield Police Station and was charged with knowingly taking part in large commercial drug supply. Bail was refused at Liverpool Local Court on Thursday 17 May 2018. He was formally refused bail to re-appear on Wednesday 18 July 2018.

Jason Weinstein the Drug and Firearms Squad’s Detective Chief Inspector said we are focusing on the supply chain, both here and abroad. He also said “With the seizure of 16kg of heroin, we know we have put a decent dent in availability on the street, but we can’t stop there; we will continue our inquiries into where it came from and where it was going,”