Source: Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
A joint investigation undertaken by NSW Police Force and the Australian Border Force (ABF) through Strike Force Weenamana has resulted in the identification of 16kg of heroin imported from Asia, concealed within a consignment of children’s clothing.
As part of ongoing inquiries into the illicit supply of drugs and firearms, detectives from the State Crime Command’s Drug and Firearms Squad received information about an importation conspiracy.
Following further inquiries, ABF officers targeted a package sent via air cargo from Thailand, which arrived in Sydney on Tuesday 1 May 2018.
The package was examined and x-rayed where anomalies where noted, at which point ABF officers unpacked the consignment and located children’s clothing concealing eight packets of ‘copy paper’. Testing of the contents provided a positive result for heroin.
In total, police seized 16kg of heroin, which has an estimated potential street value of $8 million.
Further investigations identified the package had been delivered to a holding location in Sydney’s south-west before being picked up by a 45-year-old man yesterday (Wednesday 16 May 2018).
A short time later, a search warrant was executed at a home at Cabramatta West, where the man was arrested.
During the search, police seized the contents of the package, mobile phones, documentation, and 27 cases of Johnny Walker Blue Label, which has a retail value of more than $30,000.
The man was taken to Fairfield Police Station and charged with knowingly take part in large commercial drug supply.
He was refused bail and appeared at Liverpool Local Court today (Thursday 17 May 2018), where he was formally refused bail to re-appear on Wednesday 18 July 2018.
The Drug and Firearms Squad’s Detective Chief Inspector Jason Weinstein said investigators are focusing on the supply chain, both here and abroad.
“With the seizure of 16kg of heroin, we know we have put a decent dent in availability on the street, but we can’t stop there; we will continue our inquiries into where it came from and where it was going,” Det Ch Insp Weinstein said.
“Further to that, we will harness the skills of our partner agencies, including the Australian Border Force, to stop the importation and large-scale supply of drugs which continue to plague our community.
“The most important thing we need is a commitment from the community to change the perception and acceptance of drugs, and dramatically reduce the demand for all illicit substances,” Det Ch Insp Weinstein said.
ABF Superintendent Investigations NSW, Garry Low, said heroin is a destructive drug that harms the users, their family, friends and the Australian community.
“Heroin is extremely addictive and destructive, it rips apart families and does untold damage to those who become trapped in its grip,” Superintendent Low said.
“Keeping these illicit substances out of the hands of those who seek to make a profit from vulnerable members of our society is a high priority for the ABF.”
The joint investigation is ongoing and further arrests are expected.
Anyone with information about the importation of illicit drugs or precursors is encouraged to report it to the ABF’s BorderWatch program by visiting australia.gov.au/borderwatch.
Information about the trafficking, supply, and manufacture of illicit drugs in the community can be reported to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/
***Editors Note: Vision of yesterday’s operation is available via Hightail: https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/2pOgP2n20w/c3RldzFyb2JAcG9saWNlLm5zdy5nb3YuYXU= ***.
Australian Border Force: (02) 6264 2244
NSW Police Force: (02) 8263 6100