Five men have been arrested in Western Australia over the importation of 77 kilograms of heroin, which Australian Border Force (ABF) allegedly found in a consignment of industrial kitchen equipment which arrived from Malaysia.
It is believed to be the biggest heroin seizure in WA’s history.
Australian Federal Police and Western Australia Police Force, with the assistance of ABF, arrested the men on Tuesday 8 June (2021), after ABF officers at the Perth container facility allegedly found the illicit drugs last month.
After an x-ray was conducted, it allegedly uncovered anomalies in the consignment, ABF officers examined the items and allegedly found 220 blocks of heroin hidden inside cavities in the equipment.
The illicit drugs were removed by AFP officers before the consignment was released for collection, and it was delivered to a business premises in Bibra Lake.
Three wooden crates containing the substituted packages sat inside the warehouse unopened for a week, while the business was open and operating.
The premises was under surveillance on Tuesday (8 June 2021) when two men arrived at the business and the containers were opened.
Less than 20 minutes later, the two men carried black duffel bags to their car and drove away.
A short time later, police stopped the men’s car in a Coolbellup car park and allegedly found the black bags on the back seat of the vehicle.
A 47-year-old man and his 25-year-old son, from Thornlie, were in the front seats, while a 24-year-old man from New South Wales was in the back seat.
Police allege that when they opened the bags, they found the packages AFP forensics specialists had created to replace the seized heroin.
A few minutes after stopping the trio’s car, police intercepted a blue Camry they had allegedly seen driving in convoy with the trio’s vehicle after it left the Bibra Lake premises.
They questioned the 26-year-old driver, who had travelled to Perth four days earlier with the 24-year-old man from the other vehicle.
Police say the two NSW men were staying in a city hotel and were planning to leave Perth on 9 June.
Authorities also searched the Bibra Lake business premises of a 36-year-old Coolbellup man, who they will allege imported the illicit drugs.
He was arrested and charged with three offences:
- Imported a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs, namely heroin, contrary to section 307.1 of the Criminal Code (Cth);
- attempted to traffic in a commercial quantity of controlled drugs, contrary to section 302.2 of the Criminal Code (Cth)
- attempted to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported border controlled drug, contrary to section 307.5 of the Criminal Code (Cth).
The four other men – the 24-year-old and 26-year-old from NSW, and the two Thornlie men – have each been charged with attempted to possess a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs, contrary to section 307.5 of the Criminal Code (Cth).
The men appeared in Perth Magistrate’s Court and were all remanded in custody for future court dates.
Information and images sourced from HERE.