Four men charged after 30kg of cocaine seized in Brisbane

This is a joint media release issued by the Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force.

A joint Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Border Force (ABF) operation has resulted in the arrest of four men following the detection of 30kg of cocaine in Brisbane.

Operation AKWE began on 8 January 2018, after an ABF examination of a shipping container identified a concealment of a white powdery substance inside an upper structural rail of the container. Presumptive testing of the substance by ABF indicated a positive reading for cocaine. The goods within the container were described as 40 cases containing sports field rubber granules. The matter was then referred to the AFP.

On 9 January 2018, AFP Crime Scenes deconstructed the container and located approximately 99 packages wrapped in plastic containing a compressed white powder. Further presumptive testing of the powder by AFP also indicated the presence of cocaine.

As a result, the AFP commenced a controlled operation with the shipping container delivered to an address in the Brisbane suburb of Wacol.

Yesterday, (19 January 2018), a 45-year-old man and a 46-year-old man accessed the shipping container and removed material. These two men and another two men (aged 52 and 48) were arrested.

AFP acting Commander Mark Colbran, Manager Crime Operations, said that this operation was relatively short in nature but saw a great outcome.

“To have this operation wrapped up in a couple of weeks and to have four individuals before the court facing serious drug importation charges demonstrates the success of the partnership between the AFP and ABF, preventing these drugs coming in and protecting the community,” acting Commander Colbran said.

“This activity should also serve as a warning to those that think they can slip drugs into Australia during our holiday season, we are working to disrupt your illegal trade,” he said.

ABF Regional Commander Queensland, Terry Price, said that this is a sizeable concealment that could have had lasting and damaging effects on Queensland communities.

“This is a significant blow to the illicit the drug trade here in Queensland. The ABF and its partners are well versed in the detrimental effects that this ruinous drug has on families and communities and we are committed to stemming the flow of its trade and sale.”

“Even using unique concealments like this this, importers are no match for our highly trained officers and cutting-edge x-ray technology.”

All four men were conveyed to AFP Brisbane Office where they were charged with importing and possessing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug. The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.

All four men are scheduled to appear before the Brisbane Magistrates Court today (20 January 2018).

Note to editor: Please find images of the drugs seized via the link below.

Media enquiries:
AFP National Media: (02) 6131 6333
ABF Media: (02) 6264 2244

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