Drugs Smuggled in Imported Car Parts

Two people have been charged after 490 kilograms of methamphetamine was found inside car bonnets from Malaysia, and seized following a joint operation by Australian authorities.

Two weeks ago, the Australian Border Force (ABF) identified and examined a container that arrived in Port Botany from Malaysia. During the examination, ABF officers identified anomalies in three crates, which were found to contain dozens of car bonnets. Upon further examination, ABF officers located a crystalline substance inside the skin of the bonnets. The substance was tested and gave a positive indication for methamphetamine.

The detection was referred to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) who identified 4970 packages within 71 car bonnets. The methamphetamine, which totaled an approximate weight of 490 kilograms, was seized by the AFP. The estimated street value for these illicit drugs is $367,500,000.00.

Police arrested a 17-year-old man and a 19-year-old man during the operation. Both men faced Parramatta Bail Court this week, charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug, namely methamphetamine - the maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment. The 17-year-old is scheduled to appear in Parramatta Children’s Court today, 14th December 2018. The Granville man is next scheduled to appear on 6th February 2019 before Sydney Central Local Court.

It will be alleged in court that the two men were to receive the shipment before passing it on to other members of the criminal syndicate responsible for the importation.Further enquiries to identify other members of the syndicate are ongoing, and the AFP is liaising with the Royal Malaysia Police to identify the source of the shipment.

An ABF spokesperson said the detection demonstrated the expertise of its officers in locating illicit drugs – no matter how sophisticated the concealment. The warning is once again very clear to importers: do not be tempted to import drugs into Australia, whether it be in car parts, clothing, machinery or even household goods – the ABF has sophisticated technology at their disposal to identify these illicit substances.

Source: newsroom.abf.gov.au/channels/NEWS/releases
Joint media release with the Australian Federal Police - 14-12-2018

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