Sydney police break the door down to seize cocaine worth $87.5 million
Wed, 12 Mar 2008 10:41p.m.
Three people have been charged over Australia's fourth largest cocaine seizure with an estimated street value of A$87.5 million, police said on Wednesday.
The 250kg shipment of cocaine from Southeast Asia was intercepted by members of the Joint Asian Crime Group, a multi-agency task force involving police and customs officials, police said in a statement.
The cocaine was concealed inside packets labelled as green tea in a shipping container of furniture which arrived in Sydney on 4 March.
The container was inspected by customs officers who found the concealed drugs, before JACG members monitored the delivery of the consignment to a factory warehouse in Sydney's west, police said.
Three Sydney residents, a 50-year-old man and two women aged 28 and 25, were arrested on Tuesday and charged with importing and attempting to possess a commercial quantity of cocaine.
The man will also be charged with dealing with proceeds of crime.
The three, whose identities have not been released, will appear in courts in Sydney on Wednesday.
The maximum penalty for importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug is life imprisonment.
New South Wales state Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said the seized drugs “will not be adding to Australia's drug misery."
”We will continue to track down and certainly prosecute those who are responsible. Criminals who think you can import drugs into Australia should think otherwise. The evidence today shows that we are serious about going after these types of traffickers in tragedy. And that's what they are," he added.
A JACG official said the seizure would have a significant impact on the availability of cocaine in Sydney.
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