Two international travellers charged for 10 kilogram airport seizure

Two German nationals, both aged 69, are scheduled to appear in Downing Centre Local Court today (31 August 2022), after being charged with importing methamphetamine through Sydney International Airport in July this year.

The man and woman left on a flight from Zimbabwe, transiting through South Africa, before reaching Sydney on 4 July 2022.

On arrival, their luggage was examined by Australian Border Force officers, where a total of 10 kilograms of methamphetamine was allegedly concealed in the lining of two suitcases.

AFP officers seized the illicit drugs and charged the man and woman with importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine, contrary to subsection 307.1(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.

AFP Detective Sergeant Angy Polic said the AFP is working with its international partners to investigate the origins of the methamphetamine seized at Sydney Airport.

“The likelihood that two people can act alone to source a commercial quantity of methamphetamine is rare – organised crime syndicates are often behind such importations,” Det-Sgt Polic said. 

“The AFP continues to diligently work to identify and dismantle criminal groups responsible for the importation of illicit drugs into Australia, particularly those seeking to exploit the increased number of arriving flights catering for the resumption of international travel. The AFP and its law enforcement partners remain committed to disrupting organised crime syndicates who seek to harm Australians.”

The AFP estimates this seizure has saved the community more than $4 million in drug-related harm, including associated crime, healthcare and loss of productivity.

Australian Border Force Commander Trade and Travel Operations East, Sue Drennan, said this is just one of many attempts to bring border controlled drugs into the Australia that the ABF has intercepted this year.

“Our highly trained officers have significant skill and technological capability when it comes to detecting drugs at the border,” Commander Drennan said.

 “We are alert to the different ways criminals try to conceal and move their drugs, and those considering bringing drugs into Australia would do well to remember that – or face the consequences.”