Following a drug bust in Australia, police have charged four men. They are suspected of importing drugs worth $ 186 million hidden in heavy mining equipment. The cocaine and methamphetamine were traced via an X-ray machine while screening.
Australian Border Force used the X-ray technology to find out the drugs being imported from South Africa. The four suspects of the drug bust were arrested on Sunday in Sydney. Australian Federal Police Commander John Beveridge confirmed that the drugs arrived at the Port of Melbourne on December 5 by a sea cargo. The border police, on the other hand, gave details of the drugs and said that the drugs included 254 kilograms of cocaine and 104 kilograms of methamphetamine.
The drugs were hidden in charcoal inside a machine used to extract iron ore. The activated charcoal was used to ensure proper hiding of the drugs. The AFP officials tracked the shipment by rail to Sydney and reached at a storage facility. They took three of the suspects into custody on February 5 while one remained out of their reach. The fourth member, however, was arrested on Wednesday in Melbourne.
Besides tracking the drugs, the AFP officials also seized huge cash compressed into a $100 notes block on the central coast of New South Wales. ABF regional commander James Watson provided details about the X-ray machine used in the drug bust. He said that the machine is capable of seeing several layers of steel and hence it was used to track the presence of steel in a seven-inch thick metal crate. “As this case shows, organised criminal syndicates are using sophisticated methods to try and evade Australian Border Force,” he said.
Charges Against Four Suspects After Drug Bust
Among the four men, two have been charged with importing commercial quantities of border controlled drugs. One is a 47-year-oldfrom NSW central coast’s Watanobbi while another is a 75-year-old South African citizen. The third man is from Sydney. He has been charged with attempting to possess commercial quantities of illicit drugs. The fourth man, who was arrested on Wednesday, belongs to Melbourne’s Roxburgh Park. He has also been charged with drug importation.
The first three men arrested following the drug bust were presented in Sydney court on Tuesday. They have been remanded into custody. On the other hand, the fourth man will be presented in court in Melbourne on Friday. Since November 2016, AFP officers have seized drugs worth more than $1,320 billion.
“We pay an extraordinary high price for drugs in Australia, I think that’s been well reported,” The Age quoted Beveridge as saying. “These syndicates, as you can see by the five large investigations in Sydney and Melbourne since November, people are trying to flood us. And we’re doing everything we can to stop them.”