Meth worth $15 million concealed in fridge doors seized


A joint agency investigation to stop the flow of illicit substances into Australia resulted in the arrest of a Sydney man. He was charged for the import of 23 kilograms of methamphetamine with a street value of  15.4 million.

On the basis of information received from reliable sources, Australian Border Force (ABF) officers intercepted a consignment containing a refrigerator, a juice blender and a number of water cooling towers at the port of Darwin. On examining, 27 packages were found concealed within the fridge doors.

The packages recovered from the fridge doors contained a white crystalline substance with a total weight of approximately 23 kilograms. Laboratory analysis and testing proved the substance to be methamphetamine (ICE). According government estimates the street value of the drugs can be $15.4 million.

Following this the case was handed over to Joint Taskforce Nemesis for further investigation. A controlled delivery of the consignment was done to a delivery depot in Sydney. A 51-year-old collected the consignment and returned it to his premises in the Sydney suburb of Georges Hall, NSW. Taskforce has not given out the name of any Sydney custom broker.

A search warrant was conducted on an address in Georges Hall where the man was arrested. Joint Taskforce Nemesis discovered fraudulent documents. They also recovered three kilograms of a substance suspected to be methamphetamine and $6,700 cash.

The accused was charged with importing a commercial quantity of border controlled drug methamphetamine and attempt to possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.

According to AFP’s Darwin Office Manager Superintendent Mark Setter, this was a complex operation, and involved a great level of coordination from the time the drugs were intercepted in Darwin to being traced through to Sydney where the arrest has been made. He also said this investigation is an excellent example of the collaborative working arrangements of Northern Territory law enforcement agencies.