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10 May 2024, 3:38pm
Media Release

Melbourne man charged over 100kg meth import in sandals

This is joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force

Editor’s note: Images and vision available via Hightail.

A Malaysian national has been charged for his alleged involvement with an importation of 100kg of methamphetamine concealed in leather sandals.

He appeared before Melbourne Magistrates Court this morning (10 May, 2024) and was refused bail. He will return to the same court on 30 August, 2024.

AFP Operation Birkin began in April 2024 after Australian Border Force (ABF) officers examined a consignment of six boxes from Thailand that arrived into Port Botany.

Further examination revealed 100kg of methamphetamine concealed in the soles of black leather shoes. The exact purity and weight of the substance will be the subject of further forensic testing and analysis.  

The consignment was addressed to a western Sydney storage facility used by a freight forwarder.  

After further investigation, the AFP undertook a controlled operation and allegedly observed a Malaysian man, 49, attempting to collect the consignment using forged identification on Monday, 6 May, 2024.

The man was unable to collect the consignment and was observed driving south on the Hume Highway toward Melbourne.   

AFP investigators successfully identified the man and yesterday, 9 May, 2024, executed a search warrant at his home in Burwood, Victoria.

Investigators located two mobile devices allegedly used to facilitate the importation as well as the fake license provided to the freight forwarder. A number of seized electronic devices will be subject to further examination.

The man was charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of meth, contrary to section 307.5, by virtue of 11.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). The offence carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

AFP Sergeant Alex Drummond said the AFP and its partners were committed to ensuring dangerous drugs are prevented from making it onto Australian streets.

“The AFP will continue to work tirelessly to keep these dangerous drugs off the streets and ensure those hellbent on poisoning the community see justice,” he said.

“We will allege this man was willing to drive up to Sydney at short notice to collect this consignment but the AFP stopped the onward distribution of these drugs, preventing millions of dollars from entering the criminal economy. ”

ABF Inspector Marc Rea said the quick result following the detection was testament to the strength of our joint-agency partnership.

“Organised criminal syndicates are trying whatever they can to sneak these dangerous substances past our border,” he said.

“ABF officers were quick to note the anomalies within this consignment, identifying a large quantity of methamphetamine which equates to approximately one million individual street deals.

“That’s $92 million worth of this insidious drug that won’t end up on our streets. ABF officers will continue to work closely with our federal and state partners to keep Australians safe.”

*Source: ACIC Illicit Drug Calculator 2020-2021

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
  • For information about drug and alcohol addiction treatment or support, go to the Turning Point website.
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