$23 million drugs seized, man charged – Polaris Joint Waterfront Task Force

Joint media release with NSW Police, AFP, ACC

Drugs with an estimated street value of more than $23 million have been seized by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers from a cargo ship docked at Port Botany yesterday.

Investigators from the Polaris Joint Waterfront Taskforce (JWTF) were called in to assist with the investigation, after the drugs were found following a targeted, intelligence led operation by the ABF.

The Polaris JWTF comprises officers from NSW Police, The Australian Federal Police (AFP), The Australian Border Force (ABF), and the Australian Crime Commission (ACC).

Officers from the Polaris JWTF arrested and charged a man with commercial drug supply offences after 22 kilograms of methylamphetamine (ICE) was seized.

Officers from the ABF stopped two men as they left the ship at about 6pm (Thursday 14 January 2016).

Officers searched a backpack carried by one of the men, and allegedly found a large quantity of ICE and cocaine.

Police attached to the Polaris JWTF attended and arrested the men – both Tanzanian nationals – and they were taken to Botany Bay Police Station.

Police allege the man was carrying six kilograms of ICE and one kilogram of cocaine.

The ship was searched and further drugs were located bringing the total amount of drugs seized to 22 kilograms of ICE and one kilogram of cocaine. This quantity of ICE has an estimated street value of $22 million, while the alleged cocaine seized is estimated to be worth more than $1 million.

A 35-year-old man has been charged with importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug, and importing a marketable quantity of a border-controlled drug.

He has been refused bail and is due to appear at Waverley Local Court today (Friday 15 January 2016).

A 50-year-old man was released pending further information.

Polaris JWTF commend the diligent work conducted by the officers from the ABF that resulted in this significant seizure.

Media contact: Immigration and Border Protection (02) 6264 2244

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