Media Release: Customs officer arrested over drug importations

Release Date: Thursday, December 20 2012, 06:00 AM

This is a joint media release with the Australian Federal Police and Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has arrested a Customs official for his alleged involvement in facilitating the importation of narcotics into Australia.

The arrest, which occurred on Monday, is a result of a major two year joint investigation involving the AFP, the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI) and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. The investigation followed the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service notifying ACLEI of suspected corrupt conduct.

The 28-year-old Burwood man appeared in court on Tuesday 18 December, where it was alleged that he facilitated two importations of approximately 10 kilograms of pseudoephedrine in June 2009 and May 2010 through Sydney Airport. 

Four search warrants were executed across Sydney on Monday (17 December 2012), where the man was subsequently arrested. 

A 22-year-old North Sydney woman and a 27-year-old Abbotsford woman were also arrested earlier this week for their role as alleged drug couriers relating to the investigation. The two women have been charged with drug importation offences.

The Customs officer has been charged with the following offences.

  • Two counts of conspiracy to import a commercial quantity of a border controlled precursors, namely pseudoephedrine, contrary to section 307.11, by virtue of section 11.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995
  • Two counts of receive a bribe (bribery of a Commonwealth public official) contrary to section 141.1(3) of the Criminal Code Act 1995
  • Two counts of abuse public office contrary to section 142.2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995
  • Two counts of offer a bribe to a Commonwealth Public Official contrary to section 142.1 of the Criminal Code 1995
  • Possession of a prescribed restricted substance contrary to section 16 of the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966
  • Four counts of possess prohibited weapon without a permit contrary to section 7 of the Weapons and Prohibition Act 1998

The maximum penalty for these offences is 25 years imprisonment.

The Abbotsford woman has been charged with conspiracy to import a commercial quantity of a border controlled precursor, namely pseudoephedrine, contrary to section 307.11 by virtue of section 11.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995.

The maximum penalty for this offence is 25 years imprisonment.

The North Sydney woman has been charged with the following offences.

  • Aid and abet the importation of a commercial quantity of a border controlled precursor, namely pseudoephedrine, contrary to section 307.11 by virtue of section 11.2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995
  • Dealing in the proceeds of crime contrary to section 400.6 of the Criminal Code Act 1995

In August this year, as a result of the same investigation, the AFP arrested a 27-year-old Ashfield man, a 20-year-old Lilyfield woman and a 25-year-old Menai man for drug importation offences. The AFP can confirm that the Menai man was also a Customs officer. These matters are currently before the courts.

A further arrest of a 28-year-old Summer Hill man for conspiracy to import drugs in relation to this investigation occurred in October this year. This matter is also currently before the court.

Further arrests have not been ruled out.  As this arrest relates to an ongoing investigation, the AFP and ACLEI will not be providing further comment.

Media enquiries:
AFP National Media (02) 6131 6333