50kg of cocaine found in bottled water
A FIJIAN national has been charged with allegedly importing 50kg of cocaine worth $17.5 million concealed in a shipment of bottled water.
The cargo drew the suspicions of Austarlian Boarder Force (ABF) officers last week who allegedly uncovered the cocaine before alerting the Australian Federal Police.
Officers executed a search warrant on a Hurstville property in Sydney's south on Wednesday, allegedly seizing "a number of electronic items and other material related to the importation of the consignment".
The 29-year-old Fijian national was arrested yesterday and later charged with one count of importing a commercial quantity of border-controlled drugs contrary to section 307.1(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995.
The AFP will allege the man was responsible for preparing the shipment for export in Fiji before travelling to Australia to collect it.
"Unfortunately, we continue to see large quantities of drugs being sent to Australia and criminals use all sorts of concealment methods to try and beat our border processes," ABF Regional Commander Danielle Yannopoulos said.
"Using a mix of intelligence, officer skill and intuition, and our recently upgraded x-ray technology, we are more than capable of detecting these drugs long before they can make it into the Australian community."
AFP investigations are continuing with officers working to identify the drug's intended recipients.
"This is an example of how Australian law enforcement works to keep illicit drugs off our streets and out of our homes," the AFP's Manager of Organised Crime, Commander Bruce Hill said.
"We hope it sends a message that, if you're thinking of importing illicit drugs to Australia, it's simply not worth the risk. We will catch you eventually."
The man is expected to face court today.