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19 March 2024, 12:54pm
Media Release

Drug smuggler jailed for internally concealing 100 pellets of cocaine

A Portuguese national has been sentenced to six years’ jail for smuggling 1.2kg of pure cocaine into Australia by an internal concealment.

The man, 61, was selected by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers for a baggage examination on 1 January 2023, at Sydney International Airport after he arrived on a flight from France.

ABF officers examined and swabbed the man’s backpack and suitcase, some of which returned positive for cocaine.

As a result, he was referred to AFP officers on the suspicion he was an internal drug courier. He was taken to St George Hospital where a CT scan detected foreign objects in his body.

In August 2023, the man pleaded guilty to one count of importing a border controlled drug, namely cocaine, contrary to section 307.2(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

He was sentenced by the District Court of NSW yesterday (18 March 2024) to six years’ jail, with a non-parole period of three years and six months.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Colin Hunt said criminals and criminal groups attempting to smuggle illicit drugs into Australia did not care for the health or hygiene of end users.

“No matter how creative the methods used by drug smugglers are, or how clever they think they might be, the AFP is committed to working with our partners to stop these harmful substances reaching Australian communities,” Det. A/Supt Hunt said.

“These criminals seek to profit off the misery of others, with no thought given to the pain these substances inflict on Australian families.”

ABF Commander Rose Cracknell said internal concealment was an extremely reckless way to attempt to import illicit substances into Australia, with potentially deadly consequences.

“Border Force officers are trained to examine more than just baggage, possessing a range of sophisticated techniques, including monitoring the demeanour and behaviour of travellers, and how they interact with other travellers and crew members," Commander Cracknell said.

“ABF officers continue to work every day to protect travellers, crew members, and the broader Australian community from the harmful effects of illicit drugs."

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