MELBOURNE, Australia - Two men are in custody over the importation of a large quantity of cocaine into Australia, worth an estimated $2.5 million.
The men, one aged 25 and the other 30, are both from Iceland.
The younger man was arrested after his luggage was searched at Melbourne International Airport on Monday, after he arrived on a flight from Hong Kong. Four kilograms of cocaine allegedly concealed in the lining of his suitcase were discovered. The man was taken to a Melbourne court on Monday. He was remanded without bail to reappear in court in February.
As the investigation continued, a search warrant was executed at a Melbourne hotel which discovered a further 2.7kg of a substance suspected to be cocaine.
The hotel guest occupying the room where the drug was found was arrested and charged with importing and possessing a commercial quantity of cocaine. He was scheduled to face court on Wednesday where it was likely he would transfer his booking from the hotel to one of Her Majesty’s prisons.
The offences the two men now face carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
The approximate total weight of the combined seizures is 6.7 kilograms, with an estimated street value of approximately $2.5 million.
“Our officers process millions of air travellers each year and it speaks volumes about their expertise and professional judgement that they have been able to identify this individual and a significant amount of dangerous drugs,” Australian Border Force A/g Assistant Commissioner, Port Operations Command, Claire Rees said Wednesday.
“Working closely with our law enforcement partners we are committed to detecting anyone arriving in Australia with the intent to carry out criminal activity and prevent harmful drugs from reaching Australian communities.”
The Australian Federal Police’s Acting Manager Organised Crime Commander Peter Bodel said Wednesday: “The AFP remains focused on reducing the harm caused by drug use by working with our Australian and international partners to detect and prevent the importation of illicit drugs into Australia.”
“We continue to see the damage cocaine causes when it reaches Australian communities. The health effects on drug users, the increases in domestic violence, the increases in property crime and the increases in assaults,” Commander Bodel said.