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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Drugs hidden in coconut milk cans

Police have seized 600 litres of liquid methamphetamine hidden inside cans of coconut milk as part of an international drug trafficking investigation that culminated in two arrests in Western Sydney.

Police say that an air freight consignment with 86 boxes of coconut milk cans arrived into Sydney from Thailand last month.

Australian Border Force (ABF) members covertly examined the consignment and upon identifying anomalies, tested the liquid from one of the cans, which returned a positive result for methamphetamine.

The matter was referred to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and an investigation began.

On Wednesday evening, AFP officers conducted a controlled delivery of the consignment to a warehouse in the suburb of Girraween, NSW where a 29-year-old woman and 20-year-old man were arrested after taking delivery of the coconut milk cans.

They were each charged with one count of attempting to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported border controlled drug. The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.

AFP Detective Superintendent Geoffrey Turner said the dedicated officers working on the investigation were continuing enquiries into the source of the drugs and had not ruled out further arrests.

“We are still investigating this matter to determine the role of everyone involved in this large scale importation of liquid methamphetamine.”  

“We will also liaise with our international partners to try and identify the organised crime syndicate behind this importation – only a well-resourced organised crime syndicate would be able to finance and facilitate an importation of this scale,” Det Supt Turner said.

ABF Acting NSW Regional Commander Matthew O’Connor said the detection demonstrated the commitment of ABF officers to protect the Australia border.

“This is a clever concealment but our highly-trained officers come across tens-of-thousands of packages a week and they know if something isn’t right,” A/Commander O’Connor said.

“No matter how criminals try to conceal their drugs, ABF officers have the technology and skills to find them and the penalties can be severe.”

The man and woman were refused bail at Sydney Central Local Court yesterday. Their next court date is 4 November 2020.

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