You wouldn’t read about it: Joint operation nets 8kg of cocaine destined for WA in children’s books

This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police, Western Australia Police Force and Australian Border Force.

Two men have been charged with drug importation offences after a joint operation seized around eight kilograms of cocaine in Western Australia.

Imported from the United Kingdom via the postal system, the drugs were concealed inside two boxes of books including children’s titles.

Yesterday (14 March 2019) officers from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Western Australian Police Force (WAPF) executed search warrants in the Perth suburbs of Thornlie.

Two men aged 20 and 21 were arrested at the Thornlie address, following an investigation involving the AFP, WAPF, and Australian Border Force (ABF).

The 21-year-old man was charged with attempting to import a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug and attempting to possess a border controlled drug contrary to sections 307.1 and 307.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The 20-year-old man was charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of border controlled drug contrary to section 307.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

Both men could face a maximum of life imprisonment.

Officers from WAPF’s Organised Crime Squad also executed a search warrant at a Coolbellup residence where two firearms – a handgun and an SKS rifle – and substances believed to be cannabis and steroids were seized.

A 25-year-old Coolbellup man was arrested and charged with two counts of Unlicensed Person Possess a Firearm/Ammunition and one count each of Fail to Obey a Data Access Order, Possess a Prohibited Drug (Cannabis), Possess a Prohibited Drug (Steroids), and Unlicensed Person Possess a Firearm.

AFP Detective Superintendent Timothy Underhill said effective collaboration between agencies enabled authorities to detect even the most creative attempts to import harmful drugs.

“The AFP continues to work with domestic partners and those abroad to protect the public from criminals who aim to harm the community through the importation of illicit drugs,” AFP Detective Superintendent Underhill said.

ABF Superintendent Enforcement Command WA, Clinton Sims, said cooperation between law enforcement agencies had again achieved a significant result.

“ABF officers will continue to work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to make sure consignments like these containing illicit substances do not make it through the border, and those who attempt to import them face significant penalties,” Superintendent Sims said.

Detective Superintendent Kim Massam from WAPF’s Serious and Organised Crime Division said the partnerships between state and commonwealth law enforcement agencies continue to deliver positive outcomes for the Western Australian community.

“As a result of our collaboration a significant amount of Cocaine has been prevented from reaching WA communities, and through our joint efforts we have been able to take illicit firearms off the streets.”

The two Thornlie men are scheduled to appear before the Perth Magistrates court today (15 March 2019). The Coolbellup man is due to appear in the Fremantle Magistrates Court on 12 April 2019.

Anyone with any information regarding illicit drugs is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Information can be provided anonymously.

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