By SAT News Desk
PERTH, 5 January 2022: Three men are expected to face Perth Magistrate’s Court today (5 January 2022) charged over an alleged plot to import almost $100 million worth of methamphetamine into Western Australia ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations.
The WA men were arrested by Australian Federal Police officers on 30 December 2021 after a joint agency investigation launched when Australian Border Force officers found the drugs hidden in a 550-kilogram shipment of latex bed pillows.
ABF officers in Fremantle examined the consignment on 17 December after it arrived on a container ship. After examining the goods within the container they found anomalies within the latex pillows, which they carefully deconstructed. Officers located a crystal-like substance which was subsequently referred to the AFP and tested positive for methamphetamine.
AFP forensic specialists established there was approximately 99 kilograms of methamphetamine concealed within the consignment. They replaced the drugs with a harmless substance before the cargo was released for collection.
Ninety-nine kilograms of meth could have been sold to close to one million people as individual street deals, with the estimated street value approximately $100 million.
AFP Acting Assistant Commissioner John Tanti said methamphetamine prices in WA were currently among the highest in the country because COVID border closures had helped to restrict the supply but sadly, demand for the drug remained high.
“Criminal syndicates are looking to exploit this demand and sell methamphetamine in WA to maximize their profits, they do not care about the immense harm that this drug causes,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Tanti said.
The men – aged 31, 32, and 35 – have each been charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of unlawfully imported border controlled drugs, namely methamphetamine, contrary to section 307.5 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).
They faced Perth Magistrate’s Court on 31 December 2021 and were remanded in custody to reappear today (Wednesday, 5 January 2022). They each face a potential penalty of life imprisonment if convicted.
The illicit consignment was loaded onto the vessel in Asia but investigations are ongoing into the source of the drugs.
AFP Acting Assistant Commissioner Tanti said police are continuing to work to identify everyone involved in this drug importation and planned distribution. Anyone with information relating to the investigation is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.