This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
A 33-year-old Bonnyrigg man and a 38-year-old Edensor Park man are expected to appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court today charged with importing approximately 65 kilograms (gross weight) of a substance containing heroin into Australia. The men were arrested on Friday 13 April as a result of a joint investigation between AFP and Customs and Border Protection.
On 7 April 2012, Customs and Border Protection officers at Sydney International Mail Gateway Facility detected an anomaly in a package sent by air parcel from Cambodia to an address in the outer Melbourne suburb of Springvale South.
During an examination of the package, the officers located a substance within a quantity of sachets labelled as herbal hair-dye. Initial testing of the substance indicated the presence of heroin and the matter was referred to the AFP for further investigation. The total quantity of substance seized in this consignment is estimated at 13 kilograms.
On 8 April 2012, Customs and Border Protection officers in Sydney intercepted a second consignment of hair dyes from Cambodia, which contained the same substance. Following initial testing, these sachets were also referred to the AFP for further investigation. The total quantity of substance seized in this consignment is estimated at 39 kilograms.
Subsequently, search warrants were conducted on two premises in the Melbourne suburbs of Springvale and Keysborough and two premises in Edensor Park and Bonnyrigg, New South Wales. During search warrants, AFP officers seized approximately 13 kilograms of the substance that contained heroin, similar to that discovered in the intercepted consignments.
Customs and Border Protection National Director of Compliance and Enforcement Roxanne Kelley commented that this was an impressive result for the officers.
"Given the very sophisticated method of concealment used in this case this is a good example of the great work our officers do. While criminal syndicates may be getting increasingly complex in their methodologies so too are our methods of detection."
AFP National Manager Crime Operations Jennifer Hurst said the investigation demonstrates the cooperation between the two agencies, which is integral to getting results in the fight against drug importation.
“The detection of these narcotics by Customs and Border Protection and the subsequent joint investigation is yet another example of the sophisticated and seamless working relationship our agencies enjoy,” National Manager Hurst said.
The AFP charged both men with the following offences:
- Import a Commercial Quantity of a Border Controlled Drug contrary to Section 307.2 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995.
- Possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug contrary to Section 307.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995.
- Attempt to possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely heroin, contrary to Section 307.5, by virtue of Section 11.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995.
The AFP will undertake further forensic testing to ascertain the exact weight and purity of the substance.
The maximum penalty for these offences is life imprisonment and/or $825,000 fine.
AFP National Media (02) 6131 6333
Customs and Border Protection Media 02 6275 6793