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UK man charged over alleged 4kg meth import to WA

17 March 2023, 7:58am
Media Release

UK man charged over alleged 4kg meth import to WA

This is a joint release between Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force

Editor’s note: Images, footage and audio grabs available via Hightail

The AFP has charged a British national over the alleged importation of more than 4kg of methamphetamine, sent from the United Kingdom to Western Australia.

The man, 54, faced Perth Magistrates Court yesterday (16 March, 2023) following his arrest on Wednesday evening after he accepted delivery of the package that was to contain illicit drugs before they were seized by police.

An investigation was launched this week after Australian Border Force (ABF) officers in Perth identified anomalies in a consignment addressed to a Rockingham residence.

ABF officers opened the package and allegedly found two sealed plastic bags containing a crystalline substance that returned a positive reading for methamphetamine.

An adjustable wrench was also taped to one of the plastic bags.

The matter was referred to the AFP for investigation and forensic tests established the substance was about 4.3kg of methamphetamine.

AFP investigators arranged for the package to be delivered without the illicit drugs and the British man accepted the delivery but provided a false name.

He was later arrested after he was seen putting the box that had contained the substituted items in a bin and police allegedly found the sealed packages of the fake drugs at the property.

AFP Detective Acting Inspector David Blockley said illicit drug use burdened the Australian economy and Australian taxpayers.

“While each air cargo or air mail package might contain only small amounts of illicit substances, the high volume of attempted importations combine to equate to millions of individual street deals,” he said.

“The estimated total social costs for every kilogram of illicit drugs classed as stimulants, such as methamphetamine, is more than $226,000 through crime, loss of productivity, emergency treatment and increased health care costs.

“That’s why the AFP works closely with the ABF and other partners to prevent these drugs from reaching our communities and identify those who try to import them.”

ABF Assistant Commissioner West Emma Johnson said stopping the trade of illicit drugs protected lives, families, and communities across Australia.

“Australia’s border is a national asset, and we have the constant vigilance by officers at airports and ports all over the country to thank for its protection,” she said.

“Every time our border protection systems do their job, there is a direct impact in reducing community harms.”

The man, who has been in Australia for only a month, has been charged with:

• One count of import a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, contrary to section 307.1 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth); and

• One count of attempt to possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, contrary to section 307.5 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

These offences carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

The man was remanded in custody to reappear in Perth Magistrates Court on 21 April, 2023.

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