Two Icelandic nationals have been charged over the importation 6.7 kilograms of cocaine into Melbourne Airport after joint activity by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Border Force (ABF) on Monday (5 November 2018).
A 25-year-old man from Iceland was arrested at Melbourne International Airport after ABF officers found four kilograms of cocaine allegedly concealed in the lining of his suitcase, Australian Federal Police say.
The man was selected for a baggage examination after arriving in Melbourne off a flight from Hong Kong. ABF officers X-rayed the man’s bag and noted inconsistencies in the image.
After further inspection of the bag, ABF officers located a substance secreted in the lining of the suitcase. The substance was tested and gave positive indication for the cocaine.
AFP officers attended and charged the man with importing and possession of a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug (cocaine).
These offences carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. The man appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday (5 November 2018) and was remanded in custody to reappear on 13 February 2019.
Further investigations resulted in a search warrant being executed at a hotel in Melbourne, where officers found 2.7kg of a substance alleged to be cocaine.
A 30-year-old man was arrested at the hotel and charged with importing and possession of a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug (cocaine). He is set to appear before Melbourne Magistrates Court today (7 November 2018).
The approximate total weight of the combined seizures is 6.7 kilograms, with an estimated street value of approximately $2.5 million*. Further forensic testing will determine the exact weight and purity of the substance.
ABF A/g Assistant Commissioner, Port Operations Command, Claire Rees said the detection highlighted the skill of ABF officers in identifying travellers of concern at our busy airports.
“Our officers process millions of air travellers each year and it speaks volumes about their expertise and professional judgement that they have been able to identify this individual and a significant amount of dangerous drugs,” A/g Assistant Commissioner Rees said.
“Working closely with our law enforcement partners we are committed to detecting anyone arriving in Australia with the intent to carry out criminal activity and prevent harmful drugs from reaching Australian communities.”
The AFP’s Acting Manager Organised Crime Commander Peter Bodel said the AFP is committed to working with its partners to target those importing illicit drugs.
“The AFP remains focused on reducing the harm caused by drug use by working with our Australian and international partners to detect and prevent the importation of illicit drugs into Australia.
“We continue to see the damage cocaine causes when it reaches Australian communities. The health effects on drug users, the increases in domestic violence, the increases in property crime and the increases in assaults,” Commander Bodel said.
People with information about the importation of illicit drugs and precursors should contact Border Watch at Australia.gov.au/borderwatch. By reporting suspicious activities, you help protect Australia’s border. Information can be provided anonymously. The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.
*The AFP uses the ACIC Illicit Drug Data Report (www.acic.gov.au) as the consistent publication for illicit substances in Australia. This figure is the basis of calculating both the monetary value of the illicit drug were it to be sold at the end of the supply chain or ‘on the street’, and the number of related street deals. This is based on available price data and may not be reflective of what would generally be considered as a street deal for this drug type.