IRONSIDE: Two people charged over Sydney Airport import scheme

A man and a woman have been charged following an investigation spanning more than two years into employees of an airport ground services provider allegedly involved in drug trafficking at Sydney Airport.

In March 2019, an investigation resulted in the arrest of two men and the seizure of 38 kilograms of methamphetamine, which had been imported into Sydney via an Air Canada flight.

Following the initial arrests, the AFP Sydney Aviation Investigations Team identified a man suspected of acting as an overseer of the importation within the airport precinct. Police will allege the man used an encrypted device and a ‘burner’ phone to communicate with an extended criminal syndicate.

AFP intelligence from Operation Ironside revealed this syndicate had commenced planning another importation through Sydney Airport in late 2019. Police will allege this new syndicate consisted of people with trusted insider access at the airport, who used encrypted devices to communicate.

Financial analysis by investigators in relation to a 31-year-old Liverpool man and a 35-year-old Liverpool woman revealed they had allegedly dealt with approximately $600,000, suspected to be the proceeds of crime.

On 10 June 2021, Police executed search warrants in Liverpool, NSW, where they seized approximately $100,000 in cash, and a small quantity of steroids and prescription drugs.

The 31-year-old Liverpool man was arrested and was expected to appear before Central Local Court yesterday (Friday 11 June 2021), charged with:

  • Importing a border controlled drug contrary to section 307.1 of the Criminal Code (Cth).

The 35-year-old Liverpool woman will be charged by a future court attendance notice, and is due to appear before Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday 6 July 2021 to face the charge of:

  • Dealing with the proceeds of crime, contrary to section 400.9 of the Criminal Code (Cth).

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