The Australian Federal Police (AFP) on Saturday, October 16th announced the seizure of a record 450 kilograms of heroin from a container of ceramic tiles at Melbourne port, in a joint operation with the Australian Border Force (ABF).
The joint statement referred to the drug haul as the ‘largest heroin shipment’ ever detected in Australia. The authorities quoted the street value of the consignment to be approximately $104 million, (140 million Australian dollars).
The suspicious sea freight container first arrived at the Port of Melbourne on September 29th, from Malaysia. The initial inspection carried out by ABF officers, led to the discovery of packages with red heroin branding.
On further investigation with help of AFP officials a total of 1290 packages containing the heroin consignment were seized. The container along with the leftover content has been transferred to an industrial precinct in Tullamarine.
The joint statement also revealed that the consignment was addressed to a business in Melbourne and a Malaysian national has been arrested after being linked to the bust.
The agencies claim that the man had collected packages containing drugs from the container and transferred them to a warehouse in Pascoe Vale South on October 13th, before the arrest on the following day.
The individual has been charged with import and possession of a border controlled drug in commercial quantity, carrying a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
The accused was presented before the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday and was remanded to police custody, which was followed by the adjournment of the trial till January 2022.
AFP Acting Assistant Commissioner Southern Command Krissy Barrett on Saturday promised a thorough investigation to investigate the origins of the drug consignment in coordination with the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP).
The statement read, “We continue to work together in identifying and disrupting transnational organized crime syndicates that seek to harm both our nations.”
View Melbourne Port in FleetMon Explorer: https://universe.fleetmon.com/explorer/location/15.19/144.91149/-37.83572?pitch=49.50&rotation=18.40&baseLayer=fm-dark&vesselLabel=OFF