Shipment company

Man arrested for airlifting methamphetamine

A MAN has been sentenced to eight years in prison for importing 10 kilograms of methamphetamine into Australia by air freight.

The drugs were smuggled in electric motors shipped from Italy and the United States to New South Wales in September 2020.

The 36-year-old man from Sydney was arrested in April 2021 and in May this year pleaded guilty to importing methamphetamine.

Australian Border Force officers identified the shipments and the Australian Federal Police conducted an investigation, known as Operation Joffre.

It is understood it was alleged in court that the man used his position as a store manager to deliver illegal drugs to his workplace in Silverwater, NSW.

AFP Detective Superintendent Matt Ciantar said the AFP was working alongside its partners at the border and overseas to share intelligence, track the movement of illicit drugs into Australia and intercept them.

“We are targeting individuals and groups who profit from the high demand for illicit drugs in Australia, where profits ultimately funnel back into the pockets of organized crime syndicates operating overseas,” Detective Superintendent Ciantar said.

ABF Aviation Goods Superintendent Mal Nimmo said the eight-year sentence is the culmination of inter-agency cooperation and border protections aimed at disrupting the drug supply in Australia.

“The technical expertise of our dedicated ABF officers, along with valuable intelligence information, has enabled us to prevent this harmful substance from entering our community,” Superintendent Nimmo said.

“We continue to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure the Australian community is safe from the importation of dangerous drugs.”

AFP has partnered with US Homeland Security Investigations to share information through the AFP international network and investigate the origins of methamphetamine.

US Homeland Security Attaché Ernest Verina said the sentencing underscores the importance of international collaboration in combating transnational crime.

“HSI continues to work closely with Australian law enforcement to ensure international drug trafficking syndicates are disrupted and dismantled,” Attaché Verina said.

AFP estimates the seizure saved the community more than $4 million in drug-related damages, including associated crime, healthcare and lost productivity.

The man was sentenced to four years without parole by Sydney Downing Center District Court on September 1.