Shipment term

Three jailed for $135m meth delivery

THREE men who used air cargo to import more than $135 million worth of drugs into Australia have been jailed following a major investigation.

Members of the criminal syndicate imported 180 kilograms of methamphetamine into Sydney from Malaysia in September 2020.

Australian Federal Police detectives launched an investigation (Operation Caerus-Braint-West) when it was suspected that the syndicate was planning to import the drugs by air cargo.

The methamphetamine was found hidden in a shipment of refrigerated air dryers after arriving in Sydney, and a Chipping Norton man was arrested the following day.

Detectives seized approximately $300,000 in cash, cell phones, encrypted devices and fake IDs during a search of the man’s (then 28) home along with documents related to the ‘mail.

After reviewing the seized evidence, detectives arrested and charged two more men in November 2020 – a Gregory Hills man, then 20, and a Chester Hill man, then 25.

Officers seized a dozen AN0M devices, encrypted phones, firearms, ammunition, a ballistic vest, and a small amount of cannabis and MDMA during the search warrants.

AFP Acting Detective Inspector Sarah Fullerton said the AFP was working hard to prevent drug syndicates from profiting at the expense of communities.

“Despite the best efforts of criminal networks to evade detection, the AFP has the ability to disrupt their trafficking plans,” said Detective A/Inspector Fullerton.

She said the amount of methamphetamine would have accounted for 1.8 million transactions at street level.

“Not only did the AFP prevent this drug from causing immense harm in the community, but this investigation prevented approximately $135 million in potential profits from going into the pockets of criminals and being used to fund future drug imports.

The three men faced Parramatta Local Court this month over their alleged roles in the business.

They pleaded guilty to their various roles in the importation and were sentenced to prison terms ranging from seven to 10 years.