Thu, 05 Aug 2021

Two West Australians charged with smuggling $1.6m of cocaine from UK

By Jay Jackson, India's News.Net
24 Jun 2021, 17:12 GMT+10

PERTH, Western Australia - A man appeared in a Perth court on Thursday charged with smuggling nearly four kilograms of cocaine into Western Australia from the UK.

The 28-year old man from the Perth suburb of Southern River, is alleged to have conspired with another 28-year old man to import the drugs concealed inside womens' purses. The purses were then packaged in cardboard boxes.

Police estimate the 3.99 kilograms of cocaine seized has a street value of $1.6 million.

Australian Federal Police (AFP) allege the package of purses was delivered to the home of one of the men in the Perth suburb of Willagee. He was arrested on Monday after he allegedly opened the consignment.

Further police inquiries allege the Southern River man was also involved in the importation and he was arrested on Wednesday.

He appeared before the Perth Magistrate's Courton Thursday. The Willagee man is due in court on 27 August 2021.

An investigation into the importation was launched earlier this month after Australian Border Force (ABF) officers in Perth intercepted a package that contained 16 small cardboard boxes with a purse in each.

ABF officers examined the consignment and allegedly found a vacuum-sealed bag of white powder within each purse. The substance returned a positive presumptive test for cocaine.

The matter was referred to the AFP and officers removed the illicit drugs before the package was delivered to the Willagee home.

Police will allege the Willagee man signed for the package and later opened the package and sent images of the contents to the Southern River man.
Both men have been charged with offences for which the maximum penalty is life imprisonment.

"There is violence and misery throughout the cocaine supply chain and anyone who purchases this drug lines the pockets of criminals," AFP Commander John Tanti said Thursday afternoon.

"The potential penalties show how seriously these crimes are taken by the Government and the community and we will do whatever we can to disrupt this damaging trade."

ABF Commander Operations West James Copeman added: "The efforts of the AFP and ABF have once again successfully intercepted a quantity of harmful drugs that would otherwise go on to destroy lives and communities. This detection is a credit to the hard-working officers working in our air cargo teams," he said.

"This successful outcome is testament to the ABF's and our law enforcement partners' continued focus on preventing the international supply of drugs into the Australian market."

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