Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Justice Saunders and Australian Border Force Regional Commander Tim Fitzgerald address media today to outline an operation that seized of more than 4,100,000 ecstasy pills.
CAPTION: A small portion of this week’s drug haul. More then half the drugs are yet to be dismantled from their concealments – delayed by the need for forensic examination. AFP photo.
The drugs were seized at a storage facility in Hornsby, in Sydney, and two men were arrested.
Two Polish nationals, aged 28 and 29, will face Parramatta Local Court today (Saturday, 15 October 2016) charged with serious drug importation offences.
The investigation commenced on Wednesday, 12 October 2016, as a result of intelligence received and working collaboratively with the Australian Border Force.
On Thursday night (13 October 2016), the AFP executed a search warrant on a storage facility at Hornsby, NSW, where police located a consignment of aluminum rollers which had arrived in Sydney from Europe on Monday, 15 August 2016.
Mr Fitzgerald said the importation originated in Czechoslovakia and was a very sophisticated operation.
“The drugs were concealed inside rolls of tinfoil, with lead lining inside the cardboard rolls,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
“This was an obvious attempt to prevent us seeing the drugs with X-rays.”
He said the drugs came to the attention of Border Force on Wednesday and they in turn alerted the AFP.
A joint operation led to the seizure on Wednesday.
Yesterday (Friday, 14 October 2016), AFP members arrested the two Polish nationals. Both men were later charged with:
- one count of importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely MDMA, contrary to Section 307.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
- one count of attempting to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported border controlled drug, namely MDMA, contrary to Section 307.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
These offences carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
The men were refused bail, and they are scheduled to appear before Parramatta Local Court today.
Police are hopeful further investigations will lead to more arrests.
This is the largest interception of ecstasy in Australia this year and the fourth largest haul in history.
However, Mr Fitzgerald said that Border Force made on average more than 50 drug seizures every day through airports, imports and the mail system.
Medical staff in our hospitals are seeing more and more drug-affected patients present to emergency wards every day, either directly because of their drug taking, or for treatment of injuries caused while under the influence.
Deputy Commissioner Saunders said, “There’s no party with party drugs. You just don’t know what you’re buying. You just don’t know what you’re taking”.
“The size of this seizure and the amount of potential harm cannot be understated,” she said.
“It shows the lengths to which criminal syndicates will go to profit off the misery of others.
“While there is demand for illicit substances, criminals will attempt to supply it.
“We are resolute in our efforts to stop the supply in the interest of public safety.” .