A 45-year-old Sydney man has been charged for allegedly importing approximately 144 kilograms of cocaine hidden in hydraulic cylinders.
Operation Tethys began earlier this month following an Australian Border Force (ABF) detection of drugs hidden in a consignment of hydraulic cylinders, arriving from South Africa into Brisbane.
ABF officers identified anomalies within the pistons of the two hydraulic cylinders. Inside the large pistons was a total of six metal drums, each concealing 24 blocks of white powder. A presumptive test of the powder returned a positive result for cocaine.
The detection was reported to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for investigation.
AFP Crime Scene Investigators removed the cocaine blocks from the hydraulic cylinders and substituted them with an inert substance for a controlled delivery of the consignment to a warehouse in Botany, NSW.
The total approximate weight of the cocaine was determined to be 144 kilograms, which has an estimated street value of $64.8 million.