IRONSIDE: NSW man charged over multiple drug importations

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This is a joint release between the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity

A 34-year-old Rose Bay man is scheduled to face Parramatta Local Court tomorrow (30 October 2021) following a joint investigation between the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity into multiple importations of illicit drugs through air cargo consignments. 

The investigation began in early 2020 when three separate consignments were seized by law enforcement. The consignments were found to contain approximately four, nine and 14 kilograms of cocaine, respectively.

Police will allege the 34-year-old man was part of a syndicate responsible for importing the drugs. The man allegedly told other syndicate members he had access to an ABF member, who could provide information on the status of the consignments.

Police further allege that the man has been accessing publicly-available parcel-tracking websites to determine the status of the consignments, and reporting the findings to the other syndicate members.

Police will allege in court that the man used a phone subscribed in a false name to track 62 consignments, six of which were found to contain border-controlled drugs. The six consignments were found to contain a total of 14 kilograms of cocaine, 8.2 kilograms of heroin and 48.6 kilograms of methamphetamine.

A search warrant was executed on the man's residence today (29 October 2021). During the search warrant, police seized three encrypted communication devices.

The 34-year-old was charged with four counts of importing commercial quantities of border controlled drugs contrary to section 307.1 of the Criminal Code (Cth).

The maximum penalty for these offences is life imprisonment.

AFP Superintendent Matthew Parsons said there is a high demand for illicit drugs in NSW, particularly cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

"Shipments of this size are not a surprise to law enforcement given the changes organised crime syndicates have made in response to the current environment – steering towards sending smaller packages through air cargo and mail streams in attempts to avoid detection," Superintendent Parsons said.

"We are working closer than ever before with our law enforcement partners in Australia and offshore though our international network to identify the organised crime syndicates behind these importations of harmful drugs into our communities. Investigations into these importations are continuing."

The Integrity Commissioner and head of ACLEI, Jaala Hinchcliffe said allegations of access to a corrupt law enforcement member to assist criminal entities with the importation of illicit drugs is a very serious matter.

"Information obtained by law enforcement members can be extremely valuable to criminal entities, and corrupt conduct by law enforcement members will not be tolerated."

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