Man arrested for internal importation of cocaine

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

A 52-year-old British man was arrested at Melbourne International Airport on Friday, 16 September 2016, for attempting to import approximately 280 grams of cocaine.

It will be alleged he swallowed 39 separate pellets which contained the cocaine.

The man arrived in Melbourne on a flight from Los Angeles and was selected for further examination by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers.

Following an examination which revealed the presence of the pellets, the ABF referred the man to the Australian Federal Police (AFP), who transported him to hospital for further examination. The examination confirmed the man was carrying a number of pellets internally.

A total of 39 pellets containing approximately 280 grams of cocaine were recovered, and he was subsequently charged with importing a marketable quantity of a border controlled drug, namely cocaine, contrary to section 307.1(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth). He appeared before Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday, 21 September 2016, and was remanded to appear again on Wednesday, 14 December 2016.

ABF Regional Commander, James Watson, said ABF officers were experts at identifying a range of concealment methods.

“We have sophisticated technology which will detect those who try to smuggle drugs internally,” Commander Watson said.

“The individual has put his own life at risk through this highly dangerous method of attempting to smuggle narcotics.

“Even though the man has survived this dangerous method of importation, he now faces very serious charges which could result in penalties of up to 25 years in jail.”

AFP Commander Paul Osborne, Manager Crime Operations, said the AFP and its partners would continue to work closely to disrupt drug importation attempts.

“It is disappointing to continue to see the extent to which individuals will go to import drugs in to Australia,” Commander Osborne said.

“Not only are they putting their own lives at risk, they are endangering the lives of others with the product they are looking to sell.”

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