09 February 2024, 4:01pm
Third person charged over Operation VISHAL
A Sydney man is expected to face court today, charged over his alleged role in the importation of methamphetamine into Australia in 2021. The man was arrested by the AFP following his return to Australia overnight.
The man, 32, was arrested upon his arrival into Sydney Airport on board a flight from Türkiye, in the early hours of this morning (9 February, 2024).
He is the third person to be arrested in connection to AFP Operation VISHAL, an AFP investigation into the alleged import of 54kg of methamphetamine into New South Wales in April, 2021.The Operation VISHAL investigation began after the Australian Border Force (ABF) officers examined a consignment allegedly containing illicit drugs arriving on board a cargo vessel into Australia. An examination was conducted after the AFP received information about the alleged importation.
In 2021 AFP officers seized 63kg of methamphetamine, with further forensic testing later confirming 54kg as being pure methamphetamine. The estimated street value of the illicit drugs is more than $50 million with a potential 544,000 individual street deals.
Two Sydney men were arrested on 8 April, 2021 and charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of unlawfully imported border controlled drugs, contrary to section 307.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
AFP investigators allegedly linked the 32-year-old Sydney man arrested today as being part of the alleged criminal syndicate responsible for importing the consignment containing the illicit drugs, concealed within wooden planks.
AFP officers charged the man and seized his mobile phone for further examination.
The man was charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, contrary to section 307.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
He is scheduled to appear in the Sydney Downing Centre Local Court today (9 February, 2024) and is facing charges with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
AFP Commander Kate Ferry said the AFP worked tirelessly with its partners to tackle criminal groups attempting to smuggle drugs into Australia.
“The AFP’s collaboration alongside its international and domestic partners is critical in combatting transnational serious organised crime,” Commander Ferry said.
“To protect the Australian community, the AFP and its partners will continue to make Australia a hostile environment for transnational serious organised crime syndicates – both onshore and offshore.
“Methamphetamine, even in small amounts, causes immense harm to users, their loved ones, and the community around them, through the impact on the health care system and associated crime.”
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 www.counsellingonline.org.au.
- For information about drug and alcohol addiction treatment or support, go to www.turningpoint.org.au.