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05 March 2024, 5:07pm
Media Release

Traveller charged over alleged meth import plot

This is a joint media release between the AFP and Australian Border Force

Editor’s note: Images available via Hightail.

A US national has appeared before the Downing Centre Local Court today (5 March 2024), charged with allegedly importing 13kg of methamphetamine hidden inside several jackets.

Investigations into the woman, 27, began after she arrived on a flight into Sydney International Airport from San Francisco yesterday (Monday, 4 March 2024).

During a baggage examination conducted by Australian Border Force (ABF), officers detected an unknown substance allegedly concealed within the lining of several jackets inside the woman’s luggage.

Subsequent forensic testing confirmed the presence of methamphetamine.

The matter was subsequently referred to the AFP, who seized a total of 13kg of methamphetamine with an estimated potential street value of more than $12 million.

The woman was arrested at the airport and charged with one count of importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, contrary to section 307.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The woman was remanded in custody and is next scheduled to appear before Downing Centre Local Court on 1 May 2024.

The maximum penalty for this offence is 25 years imprisonment.

AFP Detective Superintendent Dom Stephenson said the arrest should serve as a warning to travellers attempting to smuggle drugs into Australia.

“The AFP and ABF work arm in arm to ensure illicit drugs do not enter the Australian community, and will not tolerate criminal syndicates attempting to exploit our airports to import harmful, illicit substances,” Det-Supt Stephenson said.

“Methamphetamine is the second most consumed illicit drug in Australia, and this seizure could of accounted for about 130,000 individual street deals.”**

ABF Superintendent Mal Nimmo said the knowledge and instinct of our Border Force officers assisted in locating the concealment within the lining of the bomber jackets.

“Criminal syndicates will utilise whatever means they can think of to try and bring these dangerous substances into our country,” Supt Nimmo said.

“In this case, our highly-skilled ABF officers observed an anomaly beneath the seams – they are ready for anything – stopping illicit drugs from crossing the Australian border.

“Methamphetamine is an extremely destructive drug, we are doing everything we can – along with our state and federal agency partners – to reduce the harm faced by Australians.”

**ACIC Illicit Drug Calculator 2020-2021

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