Sydney man sentenced for importing 144 kilograms of cocaine


A 45-year-old Sydney man has been sentenced to 11 years' imprisonment for importing approximately 144 kilograms of cocaine hidden in hydraulic cylinders.

The man was arrested as part of a joint Australian Federal Police-Australian Border Force (ABF) investigation after 24 blocks of cocaine, worth an estimated $64.8 million, were found concealed in the pistons of two hydraulic cylinders in October 2020.

The drugs were substituted with an inert substance and delivered to a warehouse in Botany, NSW where they were collected by the 45-year-old man. Further information about Operation Tethys can be found at this link.

He pled guilty in June 2021 to attempting to import a commercial quantity of border-controlled drugs, contrary to section 307.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), and attempting to possess a commercial quantity of unlawfully imported border-controlled drugs, contrary to section 307.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

He was sentenced yesterday to 11 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of six years.

Detective Superintendent Matthew Ciantar said the outcome was a warning to those involved in the illicit drug trade.

“Australian law enforcement and its partners are working tirelessly to combat organised crime and keep illicit drugs off our streets and out of our homes,” said Detective Superintendent Ciantar.

“If you are involved in the supply or distribution of these dangerous substances, law enforcement will find you and the penalties are severe.”

ABF Acting Commander Operations Queensland, Julie Pettrey, said the collaboration between the AFP and ABF was crucial in identifying and disrupting the flow of illegal imports.

“Criminal networks try to evade detection, however, the ABF and our partner agencies work around the clock to stop breaches at our borders,” A/g Commander Pettrey said.

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