Customs and Border Protection media release
Fifth-largest heroin seizure in Australian history - 1 November 2010
Joint media release with the Australian Federal Police
A joint Australian Federal Police and Australian Customs and Border Protection Service operation has resulted in the seizure of 168 kilograms of heroin and the arrest of three people.
Two men and one woman were arrested in the western Sydney suburb of Campsie on Saturday evening in relation to the attempt to import $58.8 million worth of heroin.
A 55-year-old Campsie woman is scheduled to face Sydney Central Local Court this morning, while a 28-year-old Campsie man and a 33-year-old Hong Kong national will appear before the same court on Wednesday, 3 November 2010.
The joint operation began on Thursday, 21 October, when Customs and Border Protection officers in Sydney targeted a container of wooden doors shipped from Malaysia for examination.
An X-ray of 295 doors revealed anomalies in 10 of them. Further examination revealed 24 packages of white powder inside the cavity of nine of the doors, while another had 14 packages. Initial testing indicated that the powder was heroin.
AFP members then commenced a controlled delivery, with the consignment delivered to a warehouse in the Sydney suburb of Guildford on Friday, 29 October 2010.
It will be alleged in court that the three people charged removed the packages from the doors and transported them to a residence in Campsie as part of their role in facilitating the importation.
AFP Acting National Manager Crime Operations, Commander David Stewart, said this operation highlighted the commitment of law enforcement to detecting and investigating organised criminal groups attempting to import large-scale shipments of dangerous drugs.
“This importation is the fifth-largest in Australian history and has saved the community more than $48.7 million in associated health and social costs,” he said.
“The AFP is committed to working with its partner agencies to bring to account criminal groups who seek to expose Australian citizens to highly dangerous and addictive drugs.”
Customs and Border Protection National Manager Sea Cargo and International Mail, Graham Krisohos, said this operation demonstrates the value of partner agencies working together.
“I would like to recognise the high quality targeting and search effort that led to this detection” Mr Krisohos said.
The two men and one woman have all been charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug contrary to section 307.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 by virtue of section 11.1 of the same Act.
The maximum penalty for these offences is life imprisonment.
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