Man arrested for internal importation of cocaine

Pellets of cocaine recovered from an internal courier

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

A 48-year-old Australian resident of Thailand has been charged with drug importation offences for attempting to internally import of approximately 1100 grams of cocaine. 

On Thursday, 1 September 2016 Australian Border Force (ABF) officers at Sydney International Airport targeted the male passenger for a baggage examination after he arrived on a flight from Thailand.

While nothing of interest was found in his bags, the man indicated to ABF officers that he was carrying an illicit substance internally. The man subsequently passed 46 pellets containing approximately 460 grams of cocaine.

The man was taken into custody by Australian Federal Police (AFP) and transported to hospital for further medical treatment. While in hospital, a further 64 pellets were located also containing cocaine.

ABF Acting Commander Organised Crime Branch, Lesley Dalton, said the detections highlight the dangerous lengths individuals go to when attempting to bring drugs into Australia.

“Importing drugs internally is extremely dangerous as it can lead to serious health risks and even death,” Acting Commander Dalton said.

“This seizure is yet another example of our growing capacity to identify and disrupt the importation of drugs through close work with our agency partners.”

AFP Commander Paul Osborne, Manager Crime Operations said the AFP and its partners will continue work closely to disrupt any importation method.

“Those that seek to import drugs, be it via an internal courier or in a shipping container remain firmly in our sights. 

“The AFP and its partners will continue to use every network, every relationship and every partnership that we have to target those that seek to profit from the illicit trade in narcotics,” said Commander Osborne.

The man was charged with importing a marketable quantity of border controlled drug, namely cocaine, contrary to section 307.1 (1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

He appeared in Parramatta Local court on Sunday 4 September 2016 and was remanded in custody until his next court appearance. He is next scheduled to appear in Central Local court today (7 September 2016).

The maximum penalty for this offence is 25 years imprisonment.

Media contact:
AFP National Media (02) 6131 6333
ABF Media (02) 6264 2244

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