SYDNEY, Australia - A 41-year-old Spanish man appeared in Sydney Central Local Court on Wednesday charged with bringing 4kg of cocaine into Australia from Chile via New Zealand.
The cocaine was found when Australian Border Forces officers searched a suitcase which had arrived at Sydney International Airport nine days ago, which was not claimed by a passenger.
Officersinspected the bag and noted abnormalities in its weight when emptied.
A subsequent X-ray of the suitcase showed inconsistencies in its construction. Further deconstruction of the bag by ABF officers revealed a white powder, which gave a presumptive positive result for cocaine.
The estimated weight of the drug was approximately 4kg.
The matter was referred to the Australian Federal Police who commenced an investigation into the whereabouts of the bags owner.
AFP officers located the man at his accommodation in Sydney. He was charged with importing a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs, namely cocaine. The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.
ABF officers at Sydney Airport work tirelessly each day to protect the community, and this is another example of their skills, intuition and diligence stopping illicit substances from reaching Australian families and causing harm, ABF Regional Commander NSW, Danielle Yannopoulos said Wednesday.
This should serve as a warning to those thinking of importing illicit substances our officers have the skills and technology to find you, and the penalties are severe.
AFP Manager Organised Crime, Acting Commander Peter Bodel said Australian authorities will continue to disrupt the supply of illicit drugs. Any quantity of drugs poses harm to our community we have removed approximately 4kg of cocaine before it caused significant health, financial and social damage, Acting Commander Bodel said Wednesday.
The AFP and its partners will continue to combat the importation of illicit drugs across international borders - we will catch, arrest and prosecute you.