A 39-year-old Swedish man is due to face the Sydney Central Local court today after authorities discovered an estimated 16kg of methylamphetamine (ice) concealed in two suitcases.
The man was selected by Australian Border Force (ABF) officials for a baggage examination after arriving in Sydney on a flight from Turkey.
During the course of the baggage examination, ABF officers X-rayed the man’s unusually-heavy suitcases – each weighing about 8.9kgs when empty. The X-ray revealed anomalies in the lining.
Further examination of the suitcases revealed a brown powdery substance hidden in the lining that tested positive for methylamphetamine or ice.
The matter was referred to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for investigation.
AFP officers conveyed the man to Mascot Police Station where he was charged with the following offences:
Import commercial quantity of border controlled drug Section 307.1(1) Criminal Code Act 1995
AFP Commander Aviation Kylie Flower said the seizure was another example of how organised crime is taking advantage of Australia’s appetite for illicit drugs.
“This was a brazen attempt to sidestep authorities and bring a significant amount of ice into our homes,” Commander Flower said.
“While these drugs have an estimated street value of $9-12 million, the human cost to our communities would have been far greater.
“If you are a methylamphetamine user, know that you are being taken advantage of by people who do not care for your health, your family or your finances. There is help available – do not let this drug take control of your life.”
ABF Regional Commander for NSW Danielle Yannopoulos said this was not the first time criminals had attempted to smuggle in narcotics through concealments hidden in the lining of suitcases or through creating fake suitcase bottoms.
“Criminals continue to be surprised when our officers uncover their attempted drug importations, but they are underestimating ABF officers who have the skills and abilities and are passionate and committed to protecting the safety of the Australian community” Regional Commander Yannopoulos said.
“This detection represents around 160, 000 hits of ice that have been kept off the streets. It should serve as a warning to criminal groups that if you keep trying to bring these destructive substances in, we will keep catching you and you will face the full force of the law.”