Two arrested for importing 18kgs of methamphetamine

This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.

Two Taiwanese men have been arrested by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for allegedly importing 18 kilograms of methamphetamine hidden inside machinery from China.

On 17 October 2013 Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) officers targeted a consignment described as industrial metal bending machines which arrived in Sydney from China.

Customs officers and AFP Forensics specialists examined the consignment, which consisted of wooden crates containing six metal blocks with grinding wheels.

The examination revealed the metal blocks each contained three kilograms of methamphetamine, with a total weight of 18 kilograms.

AFP officers substituted the methamphetamine for an inert substance and the consignment was delivered to a residence in the Sydney suburb of Marsfield.

The 33-year-old and 22-year-old Taiwanese nationals were arrested by the AFP on Monday, 28 October 2013, after accessing the bending machines to retrieve the concealed substance.

They are both scheduled to appear in Sydney Central Local Court today.

AFP Acting Manager Serious and Organised Crime Damien Appleby said this seizure highlighted the benefit of collaboration between local and international law enforcement.

“The AFP values the assistance provided by the Taiwanese authorities during this investigation, which has helped prevent a significant amount of dangerous drugs from reaching Australian streets,” said Acting Commander Appleby.

“This is an example of why international partnerships are critical in combatting organised criminal syndicates operating without concern for international borders or law.”

ACBPS National Manager Cargo Operations Jagtej Singh said these drugs were concealed in a particularly sophisticated fashion.

“Criminals are endlessly creative in the ways in which they seek to breach our border controls, but Customs and Border Protection officers have the skills, training, technology and expertise to detect such attempts,” Mr Singh said.

Both men were charged with attempt to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine, contrary to section 307.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995, by virtue of section 11.1.

The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.


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