The police claim that 552 kg of cocaine are hidden in...

The police claim that 552 kg of cocaine are hidden in...
The police claim that 552 kg of cocaine are hidden in...

A 68-year-old man was charged after he was caught attempting to import more than 550 kilograms of cocaine hidden in bags of banana pulp sent from Brazil.

It is a separate investigation in which 117 kilograms of methamphetamine were intercepted, which was hidden in a shipment of latex gloves from the United States.

Operation Stalwart, which focused on the arrival of South America, began last month after federal agencies were alerted to the suspicious shipment by the US Bureau of Homeland Security.

Australian Border Force (ABF) officials who inspected the 2,000 boxes of assorted pulp that arrived in Sydney in September discovered a white substance in bags of bananas, the ABF and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said in a joint statement on Saturday With.

Testing the substance gave a positive result for cocaine, prompting AFP investigators to remove the drug and reconstruct the shipment for “controlled delivery”.

According to the statement, they found about 552 kilograms of cocaine in total, which is an estimated street value of $ 248 million.

The shipment began shipping earlier this month when boxes of pulp were dropped off at a warehouse in southwest Sydney.

The 68-year-old man is believed to have collected 139 boxes of banana pulp over two weeks.

It is further alleged that he searched the pockets to remove the hidden drug.

The man was arrested on Friday at his home in Forestville, a suburb of northern Sydney, and charged with criminal offenses including attempting to import a commercial quantity of border-controlled drugs and attempting to possess a commercial quantity of illegally imported border-controlled drugs.

He appeared before the Central Local Court and was remanded in custody in December.

Items seized by officials include cell phones, a laptop, bags of cellulose pulp, a box labeled as banana pulp, a case of green stones believed to be emeralds, and five one-kilogram silver bars.

AFP detective superintendent Geoffrey Turner said criminal groups were not deterred by COVID-19 border restrictions.

“Organized crime groups and their employees are taking greater risks and trying to move more illegal goods in bulk due to global lockdowns,” said Detective Superintendent Turner.

“They think that choosing mundane things like fruit would be harmless enough to prevent law enforcement from detecting.

“For people who believe cocaine is harmless and part of the party scene, remember, it is a powerful, addictive stimulant that enters Australia through a chain of violence and exploitation, and every time you use it, only one fuel destruction and line the pockets of organized crime. ”

In another large bust on Friday, a woman was arrested for her alleged involvement in importing 117 kilograms of methamphetamine hidden in a shipment of latex gloves and concrete blocks.

In July, US border officials inspected the shipping container going to Sydney and found 47 individually wrapped clear bags containing a crystal substance.

The drug was seized in the US, but shipping continued on schedule and Australian authorities carried out a controlled delivery upon arrival.

The broadcast was broadcast on Thursday to a company in Rydalmere, northwest of Sydney’s business district.

A 43-year-old woman from nearby Carlingford was arrested while allegedly picking up the shipment.

She was charged with criminal offenses including attempting to import a commercial quantity of border-controlled drugs and attempting to possess a commercial quantity of illegally imported border-controlled drugs.

The woman was denied bail in the Sydney Central Local Court and she will appear on Monday.

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