MELBOURNE-The Australian Federal Police [AFP] has launched a major investigation after cocaine and another illicit drug were discovered concealed within a shipment of coffee beans in Melbourne.
The AFP launched its investigation this week after Australian Border Force [ABF] officers discovered 200 kilograms of methamphetamine and six kilogrammes of cocaine, both worth US$ 182 million, concealed within a shipment of coffee beans arriving in Melbourne from Panama.
On September 18, 2022, ABF officers in Melbourne x-rayed a container of coffee beans shipped via sea cargo.
The x-rays revealed irregularities, and further investigation revealed substances that tested positive for methamphetamine and cocaine.
The street value of the illicit drugs is estimated to exceed US$ 182 million.
If this shipment of drugs had reached the streets of Australia, this quantity of methamphetamine could have been sold for approximately two million street-level transactions with a total estimated street value of up to US$ 180mln.
The cocaine could have been sold for approximately 30,000 transactions with an estimated total street value of US$ 2,400,000.
The seizure, according to AFP Detective Superintendent Jason McArthur, demonstrates that drug smugglers will use any product or method to import illicit substances into Australia.
Det. Supt. McArthur stated, “This significant seizure, concealed within a shipment of coffee beans, demonstrates that we are one step ahead of these criminal networks.”
“The AFP, along with our law enforcement partners, including our offshore partner agencies working with the AFP’s International Command Network, is committed to protecting Australians from harmful, illicit drug imports and unleashing maximum damage on the criminal environment.”
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