Sydney man sentenced after $241 million worth of meth found in cans of coconut milk

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

Editor’s note: Vision of the consignment is available via Hightail.

A Sydney man, 22, has been sentenced to six years’ jail in the NSW District Court today (5 August, 2022) for importing about 700 litres (288 kilograms) of liquid methamphetamine with an estimated street value of over $241 million concealed inside cans of coconut milk.

The man was arrested as part of a joint investigation with the Australian Border Force (ABF) after an air freight consignment with 86 boxes of coconut milk cans sent from Thailand arrived in Sydney in August 2020.

In September 2020, AFP officers conducted a controlled delivery of the consignment to a warehouse in Girraween, Sydney, where the man was arrested after taking delivery of the consignment. Further information about the arrest can be found here.

This matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

The man pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting an attempt to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine, contrary to sections 11.1(1) and 307.5(1) with section 11.2(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth).

The man was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of three years.

AFP Detective Acting Inspector Carly Smith said the AFP remained committed to disrupting the activities of people attempting to import illicit drugs.

“We share a common goal to protect our community by ensuring that these illegal and dangerous drugs never hit the streets,” Det. A/Inspector Smith said.

“This operation should send a strong warning to criminals that if you participate in illegal activities, the AFP will catch, arrest and prosecute you.”

ABF Aviation Goods NSW Superintendent Mal Nimmo highlighted the unique skills of ABF officers and how they keep the community safe by disrupting criminal activity.

“Our trained and experienced ABF officers prove time and time again that they will find drug shipments wherever they are from or however they may be concealed,” Supt Nimmo said.

“We work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to shut down criminal syndicates attempting to smuggle drugs into Australia and will stop at nothing to prevent illicit substances from reaching our community.”

Note to media:

Media are encouraged to include help-seeking information in stories about illicit drugs to minimise any negative impact on people in the community. The following services provide people with access to support and information.

  • For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.
  • Access free 24/7 drug and alcohol counselling online at www.counsellingonline.org.au.
  • For information about drug and alcohol addiction treatment or support, go to www.turningpoint.org.au.

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