(LAWFUEL) – Two men appeared in Sydney Central Local Court today following two separate attempts to import drugs into Australia. The first man, a 39-year-old Canadian national was charged with importing MDMA (also known as ecstasy) concealed inside stainless steel cooking pots.
Investigations began on Sunday (21 December) when Customs officers at Sydney International Airport performed an x-ray examination on a piece of unclaimed passenger luggage that had arrived on a flight from Vancouver, Canada. The x-ray revealed anomalies and further searches were conducted on the baggage. During the search, Customs officers located two stainless steel cooking pots. One of the pots was
allegedly found to contain an estimated 1.2 kilograms of tablets in a plastic bag. Testing of the tablets returned a positive reading for MDMA. The consignment was handed to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) where an x-ray of the second pot indicated an exact match of the first x-ray.
A joint AFP and Customs operation led to the arrest of the man who had arrived on the flight from Vancouver on Sunday. The man was detained by Customs officers yesterday when he attempted to depart Australia on a flight to Vancouver via Hong Kong. AFP agents charged the man with importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug
contrary to section 307.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995.
The substance found in the pots will undergo further forensic testing to determine its exact purity and weight.
In a separate incident, an 18-year-old Casula man was arrested on Friday 19 December and was charged by the AFP with three drug-related offences. Police will allege in court that the man imported more than one kilogram of cocaine into Sydney concealed inside a statue, wall hangings and six musical instruments via international mail parcels.
The Casula man was charged with three counts of aiding and abetting the importation of a marketable quantity of a border controlled drug contrary to section 307.2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995.
The maximum penalty for importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug is life imprisonment and/or a $825,000 fine. The maximum penalty for a marketable quantity of a border controlled drug is $550,000 or 25 years imprisonment.