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27 February 2024, 4:36pm
Media Release

US man charged for allegedly importing 2kg of cocaine into Melbourne

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

Editor’s note: Images of the concealment are available via Hightail

A United States national appeared before the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court last week (24 February, 2024) charged with allegedly importing about 2kg of cocaine concealed in his luggage.

The man, 24, was stopped by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers at Melbourne Airport on Friday (23 February, 2024), after arriving on a flight from the United States.

ABF officers allegedly discovered anomalies in the man’s luggage and on further examination, located about 2kg of a substance concealed in the lining of the suitcase.

A presumptive test of the substance by ABF officers allegedly returned a positive result for cocaine. The matter was then referred to the AFP.

Further forensic testing will be done by the AFP to determine the exact weight and purity of the substance.

The AFP arrested the man and charged him with:

  • Importing a marketable quantity of a border controlled drug, namely cocaine, contrary to section 307.2 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth); and
  • Possessing a marketable quantity of a border controlled drug, namely cocaine, contrary to section 307.6 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for these offences is 25 years’ imprisonment.

The man was remanded in custody to appear before a committal hearing on 17 June, 2024.

AFP acting Commander Donna Tankard said the AFP worked with the ABF to protect the Australian community from the devastating impact of illicit drugs.

“This amount of cocaine could have accounted for about 10,000 individual hits of cocaine, had it reached the Australian community,” a/Commander Tankard said.

“This arrest should serve as a clear warning to anyone attempting to bring illicit drugs into Australia – you will be caught and you will be brought before the court.”

ABF Acting Superintendent Luke Vercoe said officers at Melbourne Airport are highly vigilant and the first line of defence in detecting illicit drugs at the border.

“Any form of attempted concealment is no match for ABF's sophisticated technology and our highly trained officers," Acting Superintendent Vercoe said.

“We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to detect, seize and prosecute those who choose to engage this type of criminal activity."

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