18-year-old US traveller charged with allegedly importing 26kg of meth in suitcases

ABF Travel East Commander Rose Cracknell said the volume seized at the border today has stopped hundreds of thousands of individual street deals flooding Sydney’s streets.

A US citizen will remain bail refused until next month, charged after allegedly attempting to import more than 25kg of methamphetamine in his luggage earlier this week.

The man, aged 18, was stopped by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers on Wednesday (29 May, 2024) after arriving into Sydney Airport on board a flight from the United States.

Upon inspection of the man’s two suitcases, ABF officers located more than 20 packages wrapped in plastic wrap, with initial testing providing a presumptive positive for methamphetamine.

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A total of 26kg of methamphetamine was seized, which has an estimated potential street value of more than $24 million.

Image: US Meth (Source: AFP)

ABF Travel East Commander Rose Cracknell said the volume seized at the border today has stopped hundreds of thousands of individual street deals flooding Sydney’s streets.

“This particular detection shows how some individuals and syndicates are taking brazen risks to attempt to circumvent our borders. Our ABF officers at the airport are highly skilled to observe passenger behaviours, relying on not only intelligence, but instinct to identify potential threats.”

Commander Cracknell added:

“This is a significant detection of methamphetamine, one which will stop potential harm to tens of thousands of families. This should also serve as a warning for any other traveller who wishes to run the gauntlet and attempt to bypass our border controls – we will stop you in your tracks and you will be put before the courts.”

Image: US Meth (Source: AFP)

Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers were notified and attended the airport to conduct further inquiries.

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AFP Detective Superintendent Peter Fogarty said the AFP worked hand-in-glove with ABF to ensure the safety of the Australian community.

“Criminal groups continue in their efforts to import these insidious substances and the negative impact that illicit drugs have on the Australian community cannot be overstated.”

Det Supt Fogarty further observed: 

“This amount of methamphetamine could have been broken down to an estimated 260,000 individual street deals. Our message remains clear – those who seek to inflict harm on Australians, we will find you and you will be brought before the court where you could face life imprisonment.”

The man was subsequently arrested and charged with one count of import of a border controlled drug contrary to 307.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995. He was refused bail at Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday, to next appear on 24 July 2024.

Members of the community are encouraged to report suspicious border-related activity through Border Watch at www.abf.gov.au/borderwatch. By reporting suspicious activities, you help protect Australia’s border and the community. Reports can be made anonymously.

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