A 35-year-old Australian man from Palm Beach, Queensland, has been charged by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for importing cocaine, after Australian Border Force (ABF) officers at Gold Coast Airport allegedly located almost 4.5kgs of the drug concealed inside the lining of the traveller’s two suitcases.
The man was on a flight from Singapore that arrived on Saturday 21 March 2020. He was selected for a full baggage examination after displaying nervous and erratic behaviour at the customs clearance area.
An X-ray examination of the two suitcases revealed a total of three bags containing white powder concealed in the lining of both suitcases. Presumptive testing indicated the substance in each bag was cocaine.
The total weight of the three bags was just under 4.5kgs. Further forensic testing will be conducted by the AFP to determine the exact weight and purity of the substance.
The man was arrested by AFP officers and charged with importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely cocaine, and possessing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely cocaine, contrary to sections 307.1(1) and section 307.5(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for these offences is life imprisonment.
The man was remanded in custody and was due to appear in the Southport Magistrates Court today (Monday 23 March).
ABF QLD Regional Commander, Chris Waters said that the work carried out by the ABF has not stopped as a result of COVID-19 and our borders remain strong.
“It is business as usual when it comes to detecting illicit substances and stopping illegal imports,” Commander Waters said.
“This detection is another great example of the skills and initiation of our officers who maintain a strong presence at our border.”
AFP Northern Commander Operations, Jamie Strauss, said the AFP and its partners maintain a vigilant presence at Australia’s major designated airports.