Source: Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
A 29-year-old Queensland woman has faced Southport Magistrates Court today (Friday, 24 September 2021) charged with allegedly importing about 14kg of methamphetamine from Mexico.
On 16 September, 2021, Australian Border Force (ABF) officers identified the alleged drugs concealed inside boxes labelled as Mexican handicrafts that had arrived in international airfreight at Brisbane Airport.
Presumptive testing of a white powder concealed in the boxes returned a positive result for methamphetamine.
The matter was referred to the Australian Federal Police and officers created a replica consignment that was delivered to a Surfers Paradise address yesterday (Thursday, 23 September 2021).
The 29-year-old Colombian national allegedly accepted the package before officers executed a search warrant and entered the property. Police observed parts of the boxes had been cut apart corresponding to where the drugs were concealed in the original consignment.
Police seized a number of electronic devices for further examination along with a passport, consignment documentation, the blade used for cutting the boxes and the replica consignment.
The woman was charged with:
- Import a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine, pursuant to section 307.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (CTH)
- Attempt Possess commercial quantity unlawfully imported border controlled drug s307.5 and s11.1 Criminal Code (Cth).
The maximum penalty is life imprisonment.
She was bailed in Southport Magistrates Court today and is next due to appear on 18 October 2021.
ABF Commander Chris Waters said the outcome demonstrates the degree to which law enforcement agencies collaborate to detect and disrupt those responsible for importing illicit goods such as drugs into Australia.
“Our ABF officers have access to a suite of sophisticated intelligence and enforcement technologies, and their extensive experience in detecting drug concealments means that they’re able to unearth even the most carefully hidden illicit consignments,” Commander Waters said.
“Australian law enforcement agencies are ever vigilant. The message to those who attempt to bring illicit drugs across the Australian border is clear – you will be identified, and you will be stopped.”
AFP Detective Superintendent Helen Schneider said this was another case of an alleged drug importer finding more than just a delivery driver arriving on their doorstep.
“It shouldn’t be any surprise to people to find AFP officers knocking on their door if they are trying to import drugs through international cargo and mail,” Detective Superintendent Schneider said.
“We are constantly working with our partners to stay one step ahead of even the most sophisticated methods of concealing drugs.”
Note to media:
Media are encouraged to include help-seeking information in stories about illicit drugs to minimise any negative impact on people in the community. The following services provide people with access to support and information.
- For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.
- Access free 24/7 drug and alcohol counselling online at www.counsellingonline.org.au.
- For information about drug and alcohol addiction treatment or support, go to www.turningpoint.org.au.
ABF Media: (02) 6264 2211
AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297