Three Mexican nationals were arrested by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in Sydney last week in connection with the importation of 144 kilograms of cocaine.
The men, aged 36, 38 and 41, will appear in Sydney Central Local Court, where it will be alleged that they attempted to possess the cocaine.
The investigation into the importation commenced in late 2008 when a consignment originating from Mexico was identified for examination through analytical work undertaken by Customs and Border Protection Border Targeting officers in Sydney.
Officers at the Sydney Container Examination Facility examined the consignment which contained six steel die casts, weighing approximately four tonnes each. The die casts were opened by officers and a substance that tested positive for cocaine was found.
The consignment was forensically examined by the AFP and was found to contain approximately 144 kilograms of cocaine, which is estimated to be worth $31.6 million on Australia’s streets.
AFP agents monitored the consignment, which was delivered to an address in Artarmon on 28 January 2009.
On 6 July 2009, the consignment was moved from Artarmon to an address in Castle Hill.
Three search warrants were executed in Sydney and the three men were arrested and charged by AFP agents with one count each of attempting to possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, contrary to the Criminal Code Act 1995.
The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment and/or an $825,000 fine.