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Australian man arrested in $11.5m cocaine haul

  1. buseman
    FOUR men and one woman will face court in Sydney after police seized $11.5 million worth of cocaine that was on its way to Australia from the United Kingdom disguised as tins of powdered nuts.

    The Australian Federal Police (AFP) said the two air cargo consignments, containing 33kg of cocaine, arrived in London from Mexico earlier this month and were addressed to a business premises in Sydney.

    The UK police seized the drugs and replaced them with fake substitutes.

    A 41-year-old Marrickville man took delivery of the two packages at a storage facility in Sydney's west on Tuesday, the AFP said.

    On Thursday, a 47-year-old US man arrived in Sydney from Los Angeles and helped the Marrickville man transfer the boxes to a hotel in the Sydney CBD where they began to unpack them.

    The next day, the AFP arrested the two men along with three US citizens, including a 25-year-old American woman.

    The AFP said the haul was significant and that the operation, initiated by the UK Border Agency, had stopped the drugs from hitting the Australian streets.

    This seizure has saved the Australian community approximately $9.5 million in associated health and social costs, AFP acting manager Mick Kelsey told reporters in Sydney on Saturday.

    Countless lives would have been affected by this seizure had it reached the streets.

    Staff Writer From: AAP May 29, 2010


  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Five denied bail over global cocaine bust
    Four US nationals and one Australian citizen are behind bars after allegedly trying to smuggle more than $11.5 million worth of cocaine into the country from Mexico.

    Thirty-three kilograms of cocaine in tins labelled "powdered nut samples" were hidden in two air cargo consignments bound for Sydney.

    Authorities in London seized the drugs and substituted fake powder in the tins.

    When the group picked up the consignment and brought it back to a hotel in Sydney's CBD, they were arrested by the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

    The four men and one woman have been refused bail and are due to appear at Sydney's Central Local Court on Monday.

    Mick Kelsey from the Australian Federal Police says the arrests and seizure could not have been made without the help of the UK authorities.

    "The operation was initiated by the United Kingdom Border Agency and has resulted in the disruption of a significant transnational criminal syndicate and the prevention of an estimated 11.5 million dollars worth of cocaine from entering Australia," he said.

    He says authorities will continue to keep a close eye on shipments coming from the Americas.

    "We're aware that a lot of cocaine obviously comes from the South Americas, and hence if it comes directly into Australia, often it's subject to greater scrutiny," he said.

    Sun May 30, 2010 12:19am AEST

  2. lofty
    yes i know it got notice when it arrived in the UK, but the massive market and the fact it's so over priced in the UK, i was shocked that they wanted to take another risk and more it to the other side of the world.
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