Two Malaysian Nationals Charged with Importing 42KG of Heroin in Furniture
Sydney, NSW, Australia (News4us.com) May 12, 2011
A joint law enforcement taskforce has delivered another blow to organised crime and drug syndicates in Australia, arresting and charging two men with the importation of 42kg of heroin carefully secreted in a shipment of furniture.
In the early hours of this morning, the Joint Organised Crime Group (JOCG) executed a number of search warrants in Sydney and arrested two Malaysian nationals. The seized heroin has an estimated street-value of $49million.
The men, aged 34 and 30, are scheduled to appear in Sydney Local Court today, charged with importing and attempting to possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.
The JOCG comprises the Australian Federal Police (AFP), NSW Police Force, Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) and the NSW Crime Commission, using specialist expertise to target major organised crime in NSW.
The investigation began in late April targeting two Malaysian men.
A Customs examination of a container that arrived in Sydney via sea cargo from Malaysia, detected 145 packets of heroin concealed in eight pieces of furniture.
The JOCG executed two search warrants in Blacktown and Sydney City during the early hours of 12 May, seizing a number of items relevant to this matter including numerous mobile telephone handsets.
The investigation is ongoing in conjunction with the Royal Malaysia Police.
AFP Manager Sydney Office, Commander Brian McDonald, said the success of the investigation sent a strong message to both Australian-based and international drug syndicates.
“Australian law enforcement is more united than ever in the fight against organised crime, and multi jurisdictional, multi skilled teams are now operating across the country targeting organised crime syndicates operating within our country”, Commander McDonald said.
“This operation doesn’t stop with yesterday’s arrests. We’ll also continue working with our international law enforcement partners, targeting all elements of this and other drug syndicates, so we can bring them to justice.”
NSW Police Force Detective Chief Superintendent Mal Lanyon said the organisation was committed to working with partner agencies to target border controlled drugs.
“Organised crime syndicates operate without borders and the NSW Police Force is committed to working in transnational partnerships to tackle organised crime,” Detective Chief Superintendent Lanyon said.
“Community safety is a priority for police and today’s operation has successfully prevented a significant quantity of heroin entering our streets.”
Customs and Border Protection National Manager Air Cargo and Detained Goods, Catherine Asbridge, said that this operation has produced an outstanding result and is a great example of partner agencies working together to combat organised crime.
“Customs and Border Protection is committed to keeping these harmful drugs out of Australia. No matter what your plan or method is for getting them into the country we have the technology and skills to detect you breaking the law,” she said.
“Our officers are highly trained in the detection of concealed drugs and this operation demonstrates the strength of these skills combined with quality targeting and search efforts,” Ms Asbridge said.
The maximum penalty for importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug is life imprisonment and/or an $825,000 fine.
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