Man allegedly concealed heroin importation in camp stretcher

A man, 68, has been charged with allegedly importing about 5kg of heroin into Australia hidden inside a camp stretcher.

The West Australian man was questioned by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers at Sydney International Airport after he arrived on a flight from Vietnam last week (24 January, 2024).

An examination of the man’s camp stretcher led to the alleged detection of about 5kg of heroin.

The AFP was alerted and arrested the man. He was later charged with importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, contrary to section 307.1(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.

The man appeared before Downing Centre Local Court on 25 January, 2024. He was refused bail and is expected to return to court on 20 March, 2024.

AFP Detective Acting Sergeant Susan Cooper said the AFP was dedicated to protecting Australians from the irreparable harm inflicted from the illicit drug trade.

“If such a large quantity of heroin entered the country undetected, it would have resulted in untold damage to Australian communities,” she said.

“The AFP and our partners are committed to thwarting the international drug trade and preventing our airports from being used as part of the criminal supply chain.”

“This quantity of heroin would have been enough for 25,000 street deals with an estimated street value of $2.25 million.”

ABF Superintendent Mal Nimmo said Border Force officers were highly skilled to identify potentially suspicious packages which passengers bring into the country.

“Our officers are trained to scope out anything which seems out of the ordinary, our detection processes then can identify any abnormalities which could be a possible concealment,” Supt Nimmo said.