Two men, aged 55 and 57, have been charged over the importation of more than 100 kilograms of drugs, worth more than $54 million, hidden in frozen fish imported from Malaysia.
The arrests are the result of a joint operation involving NSW Police, Federal Police, Customs and the Australian Crime Commission which began last month when a 57-year-old Vietnamese/Canadian national arrived in Australia and was flagged by Customs intelligence.
On September 8, Customs officers intercepted three pallets of white polystyrene boxes of frozen fish from Kuala Lumpur. The ice packs used beneath the fish contained clear and brown liquids, which was removed and tested. The brown one tested positive for heroin, the clear liquid for methamphetamine. It amounted to 88kg of heroin and 21kg of methamphetamine.
Police switched the contents to an inert substance and the following day charged the two men after they had removed the “ice packs”.
NSW Police and AFP officers subsequently raided properties in Fairfield, seizing a number of items, including a makeshift heavy duty press, which they believe is used to compress bricks of heroin.
The 55-year-old dual Canadian-Vietnamese national was charged with the following offences has been charged with possessing commercial quantities of heroin and methamphetamine; the 57-year-old is facing a range of commercial possession and importation charges.
Both men appeared before Sydney Central Local Court on Friday 12 September. Investigations are continuing.
Australian Crime Commission State Manager NSW, Warren Gray, said the arrests and seizures were a significant success.
“Depending on the purity, 88 kilograms of heroin can equate more than 780,000 street deals worth up to $54 million. This partnered with the seizure of 21kg of methamphetamine — one of Australia’s most dangerous drugs — is a massive win for law enforcement and the Australian community,” he said.
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