Two Vietnamese nationals have been sentenced to a collective total of almost 30 years behind bars, after importing more than 300 kilograms of methamphetamine concealed inside steel gates into Victoria in 2017.
A 28 year old man, who was considered to be a high-level criminal syndicate organiser, was sentenced to 23 years and 6 months’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 15 years and 6 months.
While his co-accused, a 26 year old man, was also sentenced to serve 6 years and 3 months, with a non-parole period of 3 years and 9 months.
The pair were sentenced after facing the Melbourne County Court on Wednesday 29 April 2020.
Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Border Force (ABF) launched its investigation, known as Operation LEMNOS, on 24 March 2017. ABF officers detected a suspicious consignment containing large metal gates imported to Melbourne from China.
The consignment was found to contain a total of 300 one-kilogram packages of crystal methamphetamine concealed within the frames of the gates.
The AFP commenced a controlled delivery of the consignment to a Derrimut property before later executing a series of search warrants at properties in Derrimut, St Albans, Sunshine and in the Melbourne CBD.
Three men, all Vietnamese nationals, were arrested and charged with offences relating to the importation of commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.
The 28 year old man entered a formal plea of guilty in relation to the matter on Friday 25 January 2019.
The 26 year old man also lodged a formal plea of guilty on Thursday 21 February 2019.
The third co-accused, a 27 year old man, was found not guilty at trial on Wednesday 20 March, 2019. He was then subsequently deported from Australia.
Footage and still images of the consignment can be found at these hightail links: https://www.hightail.com/download/dDZIRFFTeFU0b0Q0WjlVag and https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/yfMEFOmZ6w