Three men jailed over $56 million methamphetamine import

This is a joint media release between Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force and South Australia Police

Three men were jailed on Friday, 28 February over a failed plot to smuggle 112 kilograms of methamphetamine into South Australia in 2017 – then the biggest methamphetamine import in the State’s history.

The men – aged 32, 36, and 39 – were each sentenced in the South Australia District Court to nine-and-a-half years’ imprisonment, after earlier pleading guilty to one count each of attempting to possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.

The methamphetamine – which had an estimated street value of up to $56 million – was in foil packages that were secreted in the metal beams of an aircraft transport stand shipped to Victoria from Malaysia in April 2017.

Australian Border Force (ABF) officers who X-Rayed the consignment identified anomalies in the stand.

An examination of the beams by Australian Border Force and Australian Federal Police revealed 91 packages of methamphetamine, with a total weight of 112 kilograms.

The drugs were substituted for a controlled delivery and an investigation led by the South Australia National Anti-Gangs Squad (SA NAGS) resulted in the arrest of three men who collected the drugs and transported them from Victoria to South Australia.

During the investigation, police also seized $1,237,955 which was the alleged proceeds of the drug trade.

That money has now been confiscated as proceeds of crime and will be used by the Commonwealth Government to benefit the community.

Inquiries are ongoing into others involved in the illicit importation.

The 32-year-old and the 36-year-old were each sentenced to nine-and-a-half years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of six years.

The 39-year-old man was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of six-and-a-half years.

The sentencing Judge noted that without the guilty pleas, each of the men would have been handed a head sentence of 11 years imprisonment.

The men have been in custody since their arrests in April 2017, so the sentences will be back-dated to reflect time already served.

The SA NAGS is comprised of Australian Federal Police, South Australia Police and the Australian Taxation Office.

Images and footage, courtesy of AFP and ABF, available here: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/Qa32JGaIkV

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