A joint operation between ACT Policing, Australian Federal Police (AFP) Crime Operations and the Australian Border Force (ABF) has resulted in the arrest of a 32-year-old Nigerian national and seizure of approximately 10 kilograms of methamphetamine imported into Australia from China.
Operational activity commenced on 8 October 2015 when a consignment was examined by ABF officers in Sydney. The consignment contained three statues and the examination located an estimated 10 kilograms of methamphetamine (also known as ice) concealed in one of the statues.
The drugs, which had a potential street value of $10 million, were seized and an investigation commenced.
The consignment was destined for the Canberra suburb of Kaleen. ACT Policing’s Criminal Investigations, Drug and Organised Crime Team took control of the consignment from AFP Crime Operations officers in Sydney and on 16 October 2015, commenced a controlled delivery. After delivery to a residential address in Kaleen, the three statues in the consignment were collected by the Nigerian national and driven to a second address in Kaleen before being opened. The packages were removed from the statue.
On 17 October 2015, ACT Policing arrested a man at the Jolimont Centre in Canberra, when he tried to board a bus to Sydney. The man had in his possession the packages that had been removed from the statue.
The 32-year-old man had arrived in Australia in July this year on a student visa.
A search warrant was executed on a house in Kaleen where similar packaging and statues were located. AFP Forensics examined the premises and ACT Policing’s Criminal Investigations seized a vehicle as a tainted criminal asset.
Deputy Chief Police Officer Andrea Quinn credited the seizure to the collaboration between our law enforcement agencies.
“We continue to work closely with our partners to prevent this destructive drug reaching our streets,” Commander Quinn said.
The 32-year-old man is due to appear before the ACT Magistrates Court on Monday (19 October 2015) where he will be charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine, contrary to section 307.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.
(ACT Policing media release)