A 54-year-old man was due to appear before the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court today on the alleged internal concealment of 109 pellets suspected to contain amphetamines imported via Melbourne International Airport on Saturday (26 October 2019).
The United States citizen was taken into custody shortly after arriving in Melbourne, accused internally concealing a border controlled drug.
Members of the Australian Border Force (ABF) at Melbourne International Airport selected the man for a full baggage examination after he arrived on board a flight from New Delhi, India at 5:30am on Saturday morning.
When a frisk search conducted by ABF officers returned a negative result the man was requested to undertake a non-medical body scan, which returned an inconclusive result.
He was then referred to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) who took him to the Royal Melbourne Hospital Emergency Department for a CT scan which positively identified foreign pellets inside his body.
AFP Commander Crime Operations Jason Williams said Australian law enforcement will continue to combat the movement of illicit drugs across international borders.
“This arrest is yet another strong warning to criminals – if you participate in illegal activities, law enforcement will catch, arrest and prosecute you,” he said.
“This detection will have a significant impact on organised crime in Melbourne and a substantial disruption effect on Victoria’s drug supply.”
ABF Regional Commander, Craig Palmer said that internal concealments such as this demonstrated the challenging role that ABF officers at the front-line have in detecting illicit drugs.
“Internal drug concealments like this are a great example of how effective targeting, intuition and skill of our ABF officers play critical role in detecting drug smuggling efforts,” Commander Palmer said.
“This detection should serve as a warning to criminal groups that no matter where or how you attempt to conceal your drugs, the ABF will be waiting.”
The man received treatment at the Royal Melbourne Hospital over the weekend.
He was charged today with the following offences:
•One count – Import a substance, the substance being a border controlled drug, namely amphetamine and the quantity imported being a commercial quantity, contrary to subsection 307.1(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth).
•One count – Possess a substance, the substance having been unlawfully imported, the substance being a border controlled drug, namely amphetamine, and the quantity possessed being a commercial quantity, contrary to subsection 307.5(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth).
Investigations into this detection remain ongoing while AFP Forensic officers process and identify the total weight and purity of the the importation.
Anyone with information about the importation of illicit drugs and precursors should contact BorderWatch at Australia.gov.au/borderwatch.
By reporting suspicious activities, you help protect Australia’s border. Information can be provided anonymously.