A South Australian man could face a life sentence in jail after being charged over an alleged plot to smuggle 20kg of cocaine, with a street value of $20 million, into the state from Greece.
The man was arrested yesterday (8 September) after Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Border Force (ABF) officers executed search warrants at two inner-city Adelaide properties. Forensic tests by the AFP confirmed the 18 seized packages contained a total of approximately 20 kilograms of cocaine.
According to the AFP, this equates to about 20,000 ‘street level’ deals of cocaine, which police say can currently be sold for about $5 million wholesale, and which has an approximate ‘street value’ of $20 million.
AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Gavin Stone said COVID-19 border restrictions are not stopping crime syndicates from trying to flout the law and profit from smuggling illicit drugs into Australia.
“Operations like this send a strong message that no matter how sophisticated or opportunistic these criminal ventures are, or what methods they use, the AFP and our partners are one step ahead,” Detective Acting Superintendent Stone said.
ABF SA Chief Superintendent Brett Liebich said air cargo volumes increased during the pandemic but so to did the organisation’s capacity to screen inbound consignment.
“We have surged officers to the air and sea cargo streams to protect the border,” he said.
“And our officers are alert to the many creative ways criminals attempt to import their illicit cargoes.”
Investigations into who sent the drugs from Greece continue.