Extra luggage results in drug import charges

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

A 35-year-old man has faced a Brisbane court after allegedly attempting to import over 17 kilograms of heroin and methamphetamine into Australia.

On 10 April, the Melbourne man was selected for a search by Australian Border Force (ABF) Officers after arriving at Brisbane International Airport on a flight from Kuala Lumpur. Upon examination, ABF officers noticed a package in his luggage containing a white crystalline substance.

Preliminary testing returned a positive result for methamphetamine. A further search of the man’s luggage revealed additional packages containing a white crystalline substance.

Testing conducted by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) determined that there were over 14 kilograms of heroin and almost 3 kilograms of methamphetamine concealed within his luggage.

AFP officers charged the man with importing a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs, contrary to section 307.1 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.

The man faced Brisbane Magistrates Court on 11 April, where he was remanded in custody to face court again on 10 May 2019.

AFP Brisbane Airport Police Commander Murray Ferguson said AFP investigators were working with Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) and other agencies to identify the source of the narcotics and the syndicate behind the importation.

“This is a significant detection and seizure. The AFP continues to work with domestic and international law enforcement partners to stay one step ahead of criminal syndicates who would seek to do harm to Australians,” A/g Commander Ferguson said.

“We will continue to use every resource available to us to disrupt and bring to justice people attempting to import illicit drugs.”

ABF Queensland Regional Commander Terry Price said the detection should send a clear message to any traveller considering importing illicit drugs.

“The ABF has sophisticated intelligence and technology at its disposal, and in this case these were complimented by one of our highly-skilled officers who used their intuition to identify the individual of concern and this large amount of drugs,” Commander Price said.

“Protecting the Australian community from illicit drugs is an operational priority for the ABF and once again, we have prevented harmful drugs reaching Queensland streets."

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