Operation VISHAL: 32-year-old man charged over alleged import of 54kg meth

The man was arrested by the AFP following his return to Australia overnight.  

A Sydney man faced court charged over his alleged role in the importation of methamphetamine into Australia in 2021.

The man was arrested by the AFP following his return to Australia overnight.  

The man, 32, was arrested upon his arrival into Sydney Airport on board a flight from Türkiye, in the early hours of this morning of 9 February 2024. 

- Advertisement -

He is the third person to be arrested in connection to AFP Operation VISHAL, an AFP investigation into the alleged import of 54kg of methamphetamine into New South Wales in April, 2021.

The Operation VISHAL investigation began after the Australian Border Force (ABF) officers examined a consignment allegedly containing illicit drugs arriving on board a cargo vessel into Australia.

An examination was conducted after the AFP received information about the alleged importation.  

AFP Commander Kate Ferry said the AFP worked tirelessly with its partners to tackle criminal groups attempting to smuggle drugs into Australia.  

“The AFP’s collaboration alongside its international and domestic partners is critical in combatting transnational serious organised crime. To protect the Australian community, the AFP and its partners will continue to make Australia a hostile environment for transnational serious organised crime syndicates – both onshore and offshore.”

Commander Ferry added:

“Methamphetamine, even in small amounts, causes immense harm to users, their loved ones, and the community around them, through the impact on the health care system and associated crime.” 

In 2021 AFP officers seized 63kg of methamphetamine, with further forensic testing later confirming 54kg as being pure methamphetamine. The estimated street value of the illicit drugs is more than $50 million with a potential 544,000 individual street deals. 

- Advertisement -

Two Sydney men were arrested on 8 April, 2021 and charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of unlawfully imported border controlled drugs, contrary to section 307.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). 

AFP investigators allegedly linked the 32-year-old Sydney man arrested today as being part of the alleged criminal syndicate responsible for importing the consignment containing the illicit drugs, concealed within wooden planks. 

AFP officers charged the man and seized his mobile phone for further examination. 

The man was charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, contrary to section 307.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).  

He appeared in the Sydney Downing Centre Local Court and is facing charges with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. 

Support Our Journalism

Global Indian Diaspora needs fair, non-hyphenated, and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. The Australia Today – with exceptional reporters, columnists, and editors – is doing just that. Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States of America, or India you can take a paid subscription by clicking Patreon. Buy an annual ‘The Australia Today Membership’ to support independent journalism and get special benefits.