Australia’s largest drug haul this year has resulted in more than a tonne of crystal MDMA withheld from entering the community and two men facing life behind bars after an Australian Federal Police (AFP) operation in Sydney in the past 48 hours.
Two Polish nationals, aged 28 and 29, will face Parramatta Local Court today (Saturday, 15 October 2016) charged with serious drug importation offences following the seizure of 1.2 tonnes of crystal MDMA (ecstasy), which has an estimated street value of $145 million.
The investigation commenced on Wednesday, 12 October 2016, as a result of intelligence received and working collaboratively with the Australian Border Force.
On Thursday night (13 October 2016), the AFP executed a search warrant on a storage facility at Hornsby, NSW, where police located a consignment of aluminium rollers that had arrived in Sydney from Europe on Monday, 15 August 2016.
Subsequent examinations revealed about 1.2 tonnes of crystal MDMA concealed in the rollers. This equates to more than 4.1 million ecstasy tablets.
Further forensic testing is being conducted to confirm the exact weight and purity of the drugs seized.
On Friday, 14 October 2016, AFP members arrested the two Polish nationals. Both men were later charged with:
- One count of importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely MDMA, contrary to Section 307.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
- one count of attempting to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported border controlled drug, namely MDMA, contrary to Section 307.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
These offences carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. The men were refused bail.
AFP Deputy Commissioner Operations Justine Saunders said this is Australia’s biggest drug bust for 2016 and the amount of crystal MDMA has an estimated street value of $145 million.
“This is the fourth largest seizure of MDMA in Australian history, and an important outcome for our community,” Deputy Commissioner Saunders said.
“The size of this seizure and the amount of potential harm cannot be understated. It shows the lengths to which criminal syndicates will go to profit off the misery of others – while there is demand for illicit substances, criminals will attempt to supply it.
“We are resolute in our efforts to stop the supply in the interest of public safety. The ability of the Australian Federal Police and its partners to detect and disrupt criminal activity has never been stronger.
“In relation to this operation, investigations are continuing into all aspects of this importation and further arrests are anticipated.”