More than 100kg of drugs seized from frozen fish pallets

TWO men have been arrested and charged after attempting to import 88 kilograms of heroin and 21 kilograms of methamphetamine in frozen fish fillets.

Earlier this month, a 57-year-old Vietnamese/Canadian national arrived in Australia and was identified as a result of Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) intelligence activity.

On 8 September ACBPS officers intercepted a consignment from Kuala Lumpur linked to the suspect containing three pallets of white polystyrene boxes all containing frozen fish.


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Initial examination of the consignment revealed that ice packs, containing an assortment of clear and brown liquids, were hidden beneath frozen fish.

ACBPS officers presumptively tested the liquid, with the brown liquid providing a positive indication for the presence of heroin, and the clear liquid providing a positive indication for the presence of methamphetamine.

A Joint Organised Crime Group (JOCG) controlled operation commenced on 9 September and the contents of the consignment were substituted with an inert substance. The next day the two charged persons allegedly accessed the consignment and removed the contents of the polystyrene boxes.

On 11 September NSW Police and AFP officers executed two search warrants in Fairfield. A number of evidentiary items were located including a makeshift heavy duty press, which police believe can be used to compress bricks of heroin.

Two dual Canadian-Vietnamese nationals were arrested and charged with a number of offences relating to the importation.

The 57-year-old man was charged with the following offences:

  • One count of attempt to possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely heroin
  • One count of attempt to possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine
  • One count of import a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely heroin
  • One count of import a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine

The 55-year-old man was charged with the following offences:

  • One count of attempt to possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely heroin
  • One count of attempt to possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine

Australian Crime Commission State Manager NSW, Warren Gray, said the arrests and seizures were a significant success in the fight against serious and organised crime.

“Depending on the purity, 88 kilograms of heroin can equate more than 780,000 street deals worth up to $54 million dollars. This partnered with the seizure of 21kg of methamphetamine—one of Australia’s most dangerous drugs—is a massive win for law enforcement and the Australian community,” said Mr Gray.

Both men appeared before Sydney Central Local Court on Friday 12 September. Investigations are continuing.

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