The Australian Border Force has had a busy month, with record busts being made for drugs and tobacco concealed in commercial shipments.
One of the Fentanyl importations detected by ABF officers
Among the reports issued by the ABF Newsroom in July, we find the following cases.
15-07-2019 - 384kg of cocaine seized from second-hand excavator, two charged
Australian Border Force (ABF) officers intercepted a second-hand excavator which had arrived from South Africa. The excavator was X-rayed at the Sydney Container Examination Facility and anomalies were identified in the X-ray image. Approximately 384 kilograms of cocaine was found to be concealed within the excavator. This volume of cocaine has a street value of approximately $144 million.
12-07-2019 - 5,000kg of illicit tobacco concealed in container of foodstuff
Last week, ABF officers at the Container Examination Facility in Melbourne inspected a shipping container resulting in the detection and seizure of illicit rough-cut tobacco equating to over $5.69 million in evaded duty.
Originating from Indonesia, the shipping container was labelled to contain items such as green tea, coffee, water, taro tea and coconut chips, however upon examination ABF officers located more than 300 boxes containing illicit tobacco, totalling 5,219kgs.
12-07-2019 - Fentanyl importations in shipments purchased over the Dark Web
ABF officers in South Australia detected a package containing a powder weighing approximately half a gram. Initial testing of the substance returned a presumptive positive result for Fentanyl. The investigation led to ABF officers detecting and stopping six other imports of Fentanyl at the border. The additional importations resulted in an approximate total quantity of 4.8 grams of Fentanyl. Police will allege in court the man purchased the illicit drugs through the Dark Web. (Fentanyl is a powerful and dangerous synthetic opioid analgesic).
05-07-2019 - Half a tonne of 'ice' seized in container of clothing, four arrested
ABF officers examined a container declared to contain clothing at the Sydney Container Examination Facility. During a subsequent deconstruction of the consignment, six of the 10 pallets were found to contain 500 packages of a white crystalline substance. Forensic analysis determined the packages contained a total of 500kg of methylamphetamine, which has an estimated potential street value of $375 million.
It follows a joint investigation by crime authorities, called Strike Force Fergerson, to investigate an international criminal network involved in the importation and supply of illicit drugs. The investigation has also been assisted by Australian Border Force (ABF) and Australian Federal Police (AFP).