Last updated on March 6, 2018
Melbourne, Australia — Two Mexican men have been arrested in Australia for entering the country with packages of disguised cocaine.
The two men, aged 33 and 34 years old, were arrested by police in Melbourne, Australia, for entering the country with about 300 kilograms of cocaine disguised as cocoa powder. The packages were discovered in a review operation undertaken by the Australian Anti-Drug Task Force and the Victoria Police.
According to Australian authorities, the cocaine arrived via air cargo from Mexico. The pair were arrested after one of the men was found carrying a 4 gram package of cocaine on his person as he attempted to pass through customs. Only then were the Australian Border Force officers alerted to the Melbourne shipment.
Australian Border Force officers say the drugs have a street value of about $105 million. The Mexican cartel behind the drug importation was well known to police.
AFP Commander John Beveridge said the investigation worked closely with officers at the newly opened AFP post in Mexico.
“We were able to obtain intelligence on this organized criminal syndicate from the source and trace their activities across the globe,” he said.
ABF Acting Regional Commander Victoria, Rod Winchester, said the organization was stopping dangerous people, peddling dangerous drugs, from entering our country and ruining lives.
“These syndicates will continue to target Australia because, sadly, Australians are still prepared to pay a very high price for drugs including cocaine, but we aren’t making it easy for them,” he said.
“It goes to show the breadth of law enforcement these cartels are up against when they target Australia. Before the border, at the border and after the border; we are watching, we know what they are up to and, when the time is right, we will strike.”
Both men have been charged with the importation a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs, namely cocaine, contrary to section 307.1 of the Criminal Code 1996 (Cth).
The 33-year-old has also been charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs, namely cocaine, contrary to section 11.1 of the Criminal Code 1996 (Cth).
The charge carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
A report by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission earlier this year showed the results of testing across the nation’s waste water outlets, and found cocaine use in some parts of Victoria is at up to 11 hits a day per 1000 people.
The national average in Australia is five hits per 1000.