WA man in court over alleged attempt to import meth in children’s toy

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

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A 25-year-old man charged over his alleged role in importing 276 grams of methamphetamine from the United States, worth approximately $276,000 in WA, is expected to face Perth Magistrate's Court today (Friday, 12 February 2021).

The Dianella man was arrested by Australian Federal Police officers on 12 January 2021, after he allegedly ripped open a stuffed toy llama to access the illicit drugs he expected to find hidden inside.

The toy had been among items in a package sent by mail from the United States, which was wrapped in Christmas paper and described as presents for a family in Western Australia.

Police will allege that after going through the package, the man set fire to some of the contents.

AFP officers executed a search warrant at the property, where they allegedly found burned remnants of the mailed items in an outdoor fireplace.

An investigation into the drug importation had been launched after Australian Border Force (ABF) officers at the New South Wales mail facility allegedly found a white crystalline substance hidden in the llama when they examined the package on 3 January.

The substance returned a positive presumptive test for methamphetamine.

The matter was referred to the AFP and officers replaced the illicit drugs with an inert substance before delivering the package to the destined address in Leeming on 12 January.

Police will allege a man at the residence collected the package before taking it to his home in Dianella, where it was opened.

The 25-year-old has been charged with attempting to possess a marketable quantity of a border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine, contrary to section 307.6 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The offence carries a potential maximum penalty of 25 years' imprisonment.

AFP Detective Sergeant Gabrielle Adam said no amount of illicit drugs are acceptable in our communities, and the AFP is working closely with our partners to combat all levels of the drug trade.

"The potential penalty shows how seriously this offence is taken by the Government and authorities," Detective Sergeant Adam said.

"Methamphetamine use causes immense harm – it is linked to other crimes including assaults and robberies, and any driver impaired by this substance is a danger to everyone else on the roads.

"We will do what we can to prevent these drugs from causing harm in our communities and prosecute those involved in the illicit trade."

ABF Superintendent International Mail NSW, John Fleming said ABF officers are always on high alert when it comes to detecting threats to the border.

"ABF officers are highly trained and equipped with state of the art technology to protect the Australian community from threats like illegal drugs," Superintendent Fleming said.

"Our officers are stationed at every international port across Australia, they are experts at intercepting illicit drugs no matter the size of the concealment or where criminals attempt to hide them, this detection is yet another example of their great work."

Media enquiries:

AFP National Media: (02) 5126 9297
ABF Media: (02) 6264 2244

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