A 48-YEAR-OLD man is facing the possibility of spending the rest of his life behind bars after being charged over his alleged role in importing more than $20 million worth of cocaine into Australia.
The man is accused of importing 59 kilograms of the drug into Sydney, from Peru, in March.
The cocaine, which police say has a potential street value of approximately $20.6 million, was allegedly found hidden within the walls of two shipping containers.
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Border Force officers allegedly found “dozens of taped packages” behind the walls, filled with cocaine.
Approximately 29 kilograms of the drug was allegedly found in one of the containers, while a further 30 kilos was found in the other.
The Australian Federal Police removed the drugs before the containers were delivered to an address in Kingsgrove.
Detectives then watched as the containers – marked as consignments of frozen fish – were moved to various storage facilities across the city.
As a result of extensive investigations, a 48-year-old Woolloomooloo man was last night arrested by Federal Police after flying into Sydney International Airport.
The man is believed to have been connected to the importation and was charged with importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely cocaine.
He is due to appear before Sydney Central Local Court on May 30. If convicted, the man faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
ABF Acting Commander Enforcement Command Matt Stock said the detection was another great example of Commonwealth law enforcement agencies, working together to protect he community.
“Since the inception of the Home Affairs Portfolio, the ABF and the AFP have been working together better than ever before to stop these threats to the Australian border,” he said.
“Criminals who attempt to import these types of substances should know, no matter where you hide it or how complex the concealment, the ABF and our partner agencies will find it and bring you to justice.”
AFP acting Manager Organised Crime, a/Commander Krissy Barrett, said the investigation demonstrates the tenacity of AFP investigators and the benefits of close cooperation at the borders.
“The AFP investigators on this case worked tirelessly,” he said.
“They pursued the investigation and were able to stop 59 kilograms of cocaine at the border thanks to our partnership with ABF, and gather enough evidence to make this arrest.”