Australian Border Force (ABF) officers initiated investigation code-named Operation Nightbird, at the Sydney container examination facility following information on illegal drug import. They examined a consignment from China and seized approximately 50 kilograms of methamphetamine concealed in packaging equipment. Two Taiwanese men were booked and charged for importing banned items into the country.
Investigation team from Australian Border Force examined a shipment consisting of three pallets comprising of 112 metal rollers forming part of a packaging machine. A white crystalline substance was found within one of the metal rollers during the examination. This made ABF officers suspicious of the consignment.
As a follow up, chemical analysis was conducted and the white crystalline substance turned out to be methamphetamine. The consignment contained approximately 50 kilograms of methamphetamine. The case was subsequently handed over to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for investigation.
The AFP started with a controlled delivery of the consignment to a residential address in Ashfield. As a result of further investigation, AFP officers searched a storage facility and arrested a 34-year-old Sydney man and a 33-year-old Chippendale man. AFP said these men were key facilitators and organisers for the syndicate.
In addition to this, from a Broadway property occupied by one of the men, 20 kilograms of methamphetamine was seized by the AFP. The potential street value of 70 kilograms of methamphetamine is around $47 million. There is no indication of the involvement of any Sydney customs broker in the importation.
The men involved were charged with one count of importing a commercial quantity of border controlled drug methamphetamine and one count of attempting to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawful imported border controlled drug methamphetamine. According to AFP Manager Crime Operations Paul Osborne this seizure is a clear indication that the Australia is still an attractive destination for drug cartels and there is high demand for Ice in Australia.