18 November 2023, 9:49am
US man charged with alleged heroin import
This is a joint release between Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force
The AFP has charged a United States national who allegedly tried to import 2.4kg of heroin into Australia hidden in his luggage.
The man, 65, was questioned by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers at Brisbane International Airport after he arrived on a flight from overseas on Thursday (16 November, 2023).
When ABF officers examined the man's luggage they allegedly found a package of white powder concealed in a laptop bag. Tests allegedly found the substance was heroin.
The AFP was called and arrested the man. He was later charged with importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, contrary to section 307.1(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).
The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.
The man appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday (17 November, 2023) and was remanded in custody until his next appearance on Tuesday (21 November, 2023).
AFP Detective Inspector Murray Ferguson said the AFP and its partners were committed to stamping out the illicit drug trade.
"Despite all the risks involved, people still attempt to bring illicit drugs into our country," Det Insp Ferguson said.
"This quantity of heroin would have been enough for 12,000 street deals with an estimated street value of $1 million and would have caused untold damage if it had made it to the Australian community.
"The AFP and our partners are working tirelessly to prevent airports being used as part of the criminal supply chain and protect Australia."
ABF Commander James Copeman said ABF officers played a crucial role as custodians of Australia's border, and were subject matter experts when it came to passengers and their attempts at illicit drug importation.
"This was a fairly brazen attempt to bring in what is a sizeable quantity of heroin in personal luggage, but would-be criminals should understand that ABF officers have multiple tools at their disposal to detect illicit goods in order to protect our community," Commander Copeman said.
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.
- For information about drug and alcohol addiction treatment or support, visit the Turning Point website.