$20 million worth of cocaine seized from plastic furniture
Editor’s note: Images from the consignment available via Hightail
The AFP has launched an investigation after 50kg of cocaine was found hidden inside a shipment of plastic furniture from South America intended for Sydney.
Authorities examined the pallets containing plastic chairs, tables and cabinets and located two black duffel bags containing 50 bricks of a white substance hidden underneath.
Presumptive testing indicated the suspected presence of cocaine and law enforcement then seized the consignment for investigation.
Further forensic testing will determine the purity of the cocaine and investigations remain ongoing into the intended recipients of the drugs in Australia.
The estimated value of the seized drugs is $20 million and 50kg of cocaine could have been broken up into 25,000 individual street deals.
Police are urging anyone with information about furniture importations scheduled from South America to please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppers.com.au. The container arrived in NSW earlier this month (October 2023).
AFP Detective Superintendent Kristie Cressy said the AFP worked closely with its law enforcement partner agencies to ensure Australia remained a hostile environment for criminal syndicates attempting to import illicit drugs into the country.
“Criminals may work hard to plan and execute elaborate schemes to import illicit drugs into Australia, but the AFP and its state, Commonwealth and international law enforcement partners work harder to detect concealments of any nature,” Detective Superintendent Cressy said.
“We have prevented 50kg of cocaine from reaching our streets and in doing so, we have prevented a significant number of street deals and the significant harm to our society that flows as a result.
“The focus of our ongoing investigation remains on identifying and locating the transnational serious organised crime groups responsible for this attempted import, and the people working for them in Australia to receive and distribute these drugs.
“We urge anyone with information about this importation to please contact authorities – you can remain anonymous.”
Note to media
Media are encouraged to include help-seeking information in stories about illicit drugs to minimise any negative impact on people in the community. The following services provide people with access to support and information.
- For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015
- Access free 24/7 drug and alcohol counselling online at the Counselling Online website
- More information about drug and alcohol addiction treatment or support, is available on the Turning Point website.