Perth man charged over meth hidden behind painting

Four kilograms of methamphetamine was found hidden behind a painting sent from Canada

A 38-year-old Western Australian man has been charged over a foiled plot to import more than four kilograms of methamphetamine hidden behind a painting sent from Canada.

The Embleton man was arrested on Thursday evening and appeared in Perth Magistrate’s Court on Friday (29 October 2021) charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported border controlled drug, contrary to section 307.5(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

He was remanded in custody to next appear on 19 November 2021.

If convicted, he faces a potential maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Australian Federal Police launched an investigation earlier this month after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police found the drugs when examining a package that was destined for WA. 

Three vacuum sealed bags containing a white crystalline substance, which tested positive for methamphetamine weighing 4.1 kilograms, were found stuck in the frame of a painting.

The drugs were removed before the package was delivered to Embleton, in Perth’s north-eastern suburbs, on Thursday (28 October 2021), where they were allegedly accepted by the 38-year-old.

AFP officers executed a search warrant at the home later that afternoon and allegedly found the substituted drugs in a pillow case buried in a garden bed. Other parts of the consignment, including the wooden back panel of the painting frame, were discarded behind bins.

AFP Detective Inspector Andrea Coleman said the AFP has an international network of partners who can strike at any point in the supply chain developed by organised criminal syndicates to move illicit drugs from one side of the world to another.

“Our goal is to stop the flow of illicit drugs from overseas and onto Australian streets and prosecute anyone involved in this dirty trade,” Detective Inspector Coleman said.

“Methamphetamine use causes immense harm, not only to users but to the wider community.”

This amount of methamphetamine could have been sold as street level deals to 41,000 people and netted those involved in its distribution approximately $4 million.

This seizure comes just three weeks after the AFP and ABF intercepted an importation into WA of 18 kilograms of meth that had been dissolved in a tub of black waterproofing paste.

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