Three Nigerian nationals have been arrested and approximately 26.1kg of methamphetamine seized following a joint operation between the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Australian Border Force (ABF) and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC).
The arrest followed the interception of three consignments containing 180 tins of liquid glue, originating from Mexico by ABF officials in October this year.
Operation Shepody began after these three consignments were referred to the AFP for investigation. An examination of the consignments, located a total of approximately 180L of methamphetamine mixed into the industrial glue. The illicit drugs have an estimated street value of $15.6 million.
On 13 October, the AFP conducted a controlled delivery of the consignments to an address in Edgecliff, NSW. A 45-year-old Auburn man, a 41-year-old Miranda man and a 49-year-old Pendle Hill man were subsequently arrested on Thursday 24 November, after the AFP executed a number of search warrants in Auburn, Pendle Hill and Miranda.
AFP acting Assistant Commissioner Chris Sheehan, National Manager Crime Operations, said the AFP’s cooperation with its partner law enforcement agencies has never been stronger, both within Australia and overseas.
"Working with our partners, the AFP has arrested three men and stopped almost $16 million worth of a very harmful substance making its way into the Australian community. Law enforcement agencies will continue to work together to target those who believe they are above the law," AFP acting Assistant Commissioner Sheehan said.
"My message to those contemplating bringing these dangerous drugs into our country is that you will get caught, regardless of how creative your concealment method," he said.
ABF Assistant Commissioner Investigations Wayne Buchhorn said the successful resolution to this operation was evidence of the excellent work of law enforcement agencies and the ABF’s layered approach to border security. Our highly skilled officers are at the border 24-hours a day, 365-days a year to detect and deter harmful illicit substances before they reach our shores," Assistant Commissioner Buchhorn said.
ACIC Executive Director Intelligence Col Blanch said the ACIC has assessed that methamphetamine poses, by far, the greatest threat to the Australian public of all illicit drug types, and by a significant margin.
"The ACIC is committed to working with our partners, to discover, understand and respond to the threat that methamphetamine poses to our community," Mr Blanch said.
Two of the men appeared before Sydney Central Local Court on Friday. 25 November. The third male will appear before Court at a later date.