Cocaine found in suitcase lining at Sydney Airport

Drugs seized at airport

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

Two Brazilian nationals have been arrested and charged after allegedly attempting to import 4.5kg of cocaine through Sydney airport, concealed in the lining of their suitcases.

The 39-year-old male and 55-year-old female passengers, travelling together from Sao Paulo, were selected for baggage examinations by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers after landing in Sydney on 26 September 2018.

X-rays of their suitcases revealed anomalies in the suitcase linings consistent with a concealment. Further examinations revealed a powder which returned positive results for cocaine.

The estimated street value of the drugs is about $1.5m.

The two passengers were subsequently arrested by Australian Federal Police (AFP) and charged with importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug under S.307.1(1) of the Criminal Code 1995.

ABF Acting Regional Commander NSW, Tony McSweeney, said the detection highlighted the skills of ABF officers working at our borders.

“While we can’t go into the specifics of our targeting methodologies, this is another great example of officer intuition being used to prevent harmful drugs reaching the community,” Acting Commander McSweeney said.

“We know there is a growing demand for cocaine in Australia and local users are paying some of the highest prices in the world. My message to anyone who is lured by these potential profits is clear - our dedicated officers have the technology, skills and commitment to detect these drugs and stop you bringing them in.”

AFP's Acting Airport Police Commander Simone O'Mahony said that the ABF and AFP are committed to working together to stop these illegal drugs destroying more Australian lives.

"This is 4.5 kilograms of cocaine that won't end up on our streets and in our communities," Detective a/Superintendent Simone O'Mahony said.

"Police know better than most the significant and often heartbreaking costs that these drugs have on individuals, families and the whole community. So, in stopping yet another import, we hope this sends a strong message to people thinking about importing illicit drugs – the odds are not in your favour and we will catch you eventually.”

The man and woman made a brief appearance in the Central Local Court yesterday (27 September 2018) and are scheduled to reappear on 3 October 2018.

Anyone with information about the importation of illicit drugs or precursors is encouraged to report it to the ABF’s BorderWatch program by visiting


Media contact:

Australian Border Force (02) 6264 2244

Australian Federal Police (02) 6131 6333

National Security Hotline

Visit the AFP Futures Centre

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

Platypus Online: Read. Discover. Enjoy.