THREE men have been arrested after Australian Border Force detectives found more than 70 kilograms of illicit drugs hidden in their luggage at Melbourne Airport.
On Sunday, 18 October, three Malaysian nationals arrived in Australia on a flight from Kuala Lumpur.
A subsequent examination of the men’s luggage by ABF officers identified anomalies and upon further analysis, forensics determined the estimated concealment within the three suitcases at 55kg of methamphetamine and 18kg of heroin.
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The potential street value for this quantity of drugs is $36.8 million and $10.1 million respectively.
On 19 October, Australian Federal Police officers conducted a controlled delivery of the suitcases to a hotel in Melbourne.
All three men were subsequently arrested.
Two of the men were charged with:
• the importation of a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs
• attempting to possess a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs
These two men will appear before the Melbourne Magistrates Court today (Tuesday, 20 October).
The third man is expected to be charged at a later date.
AFP Acting National Manager Crime Operations Paul Osborne praised the efforts of the AFP and ABF members for identifying the importation and acting quickly to bring about a resolution.
“This was a brazen attempt to smuggle in a quantity of drugs that could have caused immeasurable harm in the community,” acting Assistant Commissioner Osborne said.
“The AFP will continue its work with partner agencies to cut off the supply of drugs by syndicates that seek to profit from the addiction and misery of others.”
ABF Acting Commissioner Michael Outram said this detection is due to the commitment and skill of ABF officers, and the targeted approach used at our international airports.
“This seizure represents one of the largest seizures in Australian history through an Australian international airport, which proves law enforcement agencies are working harder than ever to keep drugs out of our community.”
“Today we have successfully taken an enormous and unprecedented portion off the streets of Victoria and the effects of this great seizure will be seen far and wide across the Australian community,” said Mr Outram.