WA resident charged over cocaine mail import
This is a joint release between Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force
Editor's note: arrest footage and images are available for download.
A 24-year-old man is expected to face Perth Magistrate's Court today (5 March 2022) charged over the importation of cocaine embedded in clothing.
Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force launched an investigation after ABF officers examined a package from South America last month (24 February 2022) and allegedly found a white powdery substance in the fibres of ponchos and bikinis.
Testing of the powder returned a positive presumptive result for cocaine.
Further examination of the items by AFP forensics officers established there was approximately two kilograms of cocaine embedded into the clothing.
Police substituted the items and yesterday (4 March 2022) had the package delivered as addressed to a home in Scarborough.
The 24-year-old man allegedly accepted the delivery and claimed it was intended for his friend.
A short time later, AFP and ABF officers executed a search warrant at the property.
The man claimed he did not know who the package was for and had left it in the hallway of the share house. Police examined his mobile phone and allegedly found messages about the delivery of the package.
Officers also found and seized three cannabis plants and a small quantity of green vegetable matter and seeds suspected of being cannabis.
The 24-year-old man has been charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs, contrary to section 307.5 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for the offence is life imprisonment.
AFP Acting Sergeant Tom Blakeley said there was a false perception among some people that cocaine was a safe drug and its use did not harm other people.
"These drugs are supplied by international organised crime syndicates that are prepared to murder people to protect their market share and drug users in Australia are bankrolling these groups," he said. "The growing of cocoa leaf, which is used to manufacture cocaine, has been linked to Amazon deforestation and chemicals and pesticides are used to protect the crops.
"The AFP and our partners are working hard to stop illicit drugs from reaching our communities and disrupting anyone involved in the supply chain."
ABF Acting Commander Operations West Shaun Senior said the detection was a great example of the hard work and diligence of our ABF officers on the front line.
"Criminals think that by importing small quantities of illicit substances into Australia they will evade detection by ABF officers, but that's not the case," Commander Senior said.
"We are always on the lookout for dangerous substances entering Australia, seizing even the smallest amount prevents the flow on effect of many devastating health consequences."
- AFP National Media: (02) 5126 9297
- ABF Media: (02) 6264 2244