Gold Coast man faces court over alleged $115m cocaine import in 2018

A 35-year-old Gold Coast man faced Southport Magistrates Court today (16 November 2021) charged in connection to a 115 kilogram cocaine importation from South Africa to Sydney in 2018.

The Australian Federal Police-led Gold Coast Joint Organised Crime Taskforce (JOCTF) arrested the man at his residence in Surfers Paradise late yesterday (15 November 2021).

He is the fourth man charged as part of Operation Razorclaw, an Eastern Command investigation which began in 2018, targeting the activities of a Sydney-based crime syndicate allegedly importing illicit drugs into Australia.

Read more about the initial seizure and arrests.

Police will allege in court that a business allegedly linked to the 35-year-old Gold Coast man was used to import the 115 kilograms of cocaine, which was hidden inside a large generator.

The cocaine had a street value of $115 million.

The generator was delivered to a Gold Coast business premises in late 2018. Investigators executed search warrants at the man's home and business premises in October 2018, where they seized several mobile phones and laptops.

Police will allege that new evidence identified on the man's phone has revealed his involvement in the cocaine importation. 

JOCTF investigators charged the man yesterday with one count of unlawfully importing a border controlled drug, namely cocaine, contrary to section 307(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth). The maximum penalty for the offence is life imprisonment.

He has been bailed to next appear in Southport Magistrates Court in February 2022.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Jeremy Staunton said there are no passengers when it comes to the importation of illicit drugs into Australia.

"The AFP and its partner agencies work collaboratively to identify criminal syndicates and alleged offenders involved in importing commercial quantities of drugs into the country ,"' Detective Acting Superintendent Staunton said.

"There is no doubt that if someone is involved in importing harmful drugs into Australia then they will be on our radar and, sooner or later, they will face the full extent of the law."

The JOCTF is a multi-agency taskforce comprised of members of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Queensland Police Service (QPS), ACIC, Department of Home Affairs (DHA), Australian Border Force (ABF), Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). 

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