At the end of a three month operation, Australian Border Force officers arrested four men. They also recovered 15 kilograms of methamphetamine. This has ultimately caused serious damage to drug syndicate operating in Melbourne.
Investigation code named Operation Conure began when Australian Border Force officers intercepted a consignment destined for Broadmeadows, Victoria. It was found that the shipment contained ceramic horse statues. Concealed in these statues were 10.9 kilograms of methamphetamine. Information of any Sydney customs broker in this case is not known.
Australian Border Force referred the matter to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to follow up and take required action. As a follow up, controlled delivery of the consignment was conducted and three persons of interest were identified by the police.
On a detailed investigation, Australian Federal Police traced out a fourth person of interest. This was a 30-year-old Sierra Leone man. This man is alleged to be the organiser of the importation of horse statues. Police also found links between this person and a 2.4 kilogram methamphetamine importation in the previous year.
The police allege that these four men were operating a drug syndicate. They were also linked to another methamphetamine seizures in the Melbourne area. In this case the involvement was of 1.5 kilogram methamphetamine.
On the basis of the information and evidence gathered, Australian Federal Police conducted four search warrants across Melbourne. Following this a 30-year-old Sierra Leone man was arrested in Truganina. From Wyndham North the police arrested a 28-year-old Liberian man. This was followed by the arrest of a 26-year-old Liberian man in St Albans and a 21-year-old Australian national in Sunshine.
Those arrested have been charged with importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine, contrary to subsection 307.1(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth). They were also charged for attempting to possess an unlawfully imported substance contrary to subsection 11.1(1) of the Criminal Code(Cth). For the offences charged the maximum penalty is life imprisonment.