A 51-year-old Sydney man has faced Parramatta Local Court charged with importing more than 11 kilos of cocaine hidden inside an alternator from Chile.
The cocaine was discovered by Australian Border Force (ABF) in a shipping container that arrived in Port Botany in September after officers conducted an examination of the alternator within the container and detected anomalies.
ABF officers found a component of the alternator had been made from fibreglass disguised to look like metal. Further examination of the compartment identified 10 packages wrapped in silver tape.
An examination of the packages revealed a white powder inside which tested positive to cocaine.
Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigators identified two properties suspected of being linked to the importation.
Search warrants were subsequently executed on these two premises in the Sydney suburbs of Sylvania Waters and North Rocks.
Further investigations led to search warrants being executed yesterday in Dundas Valley and Eastwood with the assistance of the AFP’s National Anti-Gangs Squad (NAGS) and NSW Police Strike Force Raptor.
Police arrested the 51-year-old Eastwood man and a 37-year-old Dundas man. Both have been charged with drug importation crimes and face a potential maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
AFP Commander Investigations, Eastern Command, Kirsty Schofield said the result highlighted the successful collaboration between the AFP and ABF to prevent illicit drugs entering the community.
“We are working to stay one step ahead of those who look to profit from drugs and will take advantage of any opportunity to disrupt the supply chain and arrest those involved,” Commander Schofield said.
“Our message to criminal groups is that we will be unyielding in protecting the community from the harm caused by these illicit drugs and associated criminal behaviour.”
Acting ABF Regional Commander NSW, Brendan Slape said this significant detection of cocaine is yet another great example of successful collaboration between the ABF and its law enforcement partners.
“Concealment attempts like this are no match for ABF’s sophisticated technology and our highly trained officers,” Commander Slape said.
“We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to detect, seize and prosecute those who choose to engage in this type of criminal activity.”