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QLD Men Charged Over Intl Drug Smuggling Operation

Queensland men charged over transnational drug smuggling operation

Four Queensland men are expected to face court today over their alleged involvement in a transnational drug smuggling operation that used international mail services.

The arrests follow a joint agency operation involving the Australian Federal Police, Royal Thai Police, Australian Customs Service and Queensland Police.

The AFP will allege in Maroochydore Magistrates Court that a 36-year-old Sunshine Coast man arranged the importation of approximately a kilogram of cocaine from Thailand.

Royal Thai Police arrested a 39-year-old American man, allegedly involved in the smuggling operation, in Bangkok yesterday.

Over the past 10 months, Customs officers in Sydney seized a number of mail items destined for Queensland that were found to contain cocaine.

Members of the joint investigation team executed a series of search warrants at Maroochydore, Gympie and Bli Bli yesterday. Police seized a laptop computer, mailbox keys, cash, a Subaru Liberty sedan and documents pertaining to the investigation.

Further search warrants were executed today at premises in Paddington, Mooloolaba and Maroochydore.

The 36-year-old Sunshine Coast man will face 14 federal charges of importing a marketable quantity of cocaine and one charge of dealing with the proceeds of crime under the Criminal Code Act 1995. He also faces Queensland charges of trafficking a dangerous drug possessing property obtained from trafficking a dangerous drug under the Drugs Misuse Act QLD 1986.

A 38-year-old Sunshine Coast man will also face Maroochydore Magistrates Court charged with aiding and abetting the importation of a marketable quantity of cocaine.

A 37-year-old Brisbane man is expected to face Brisbane Magistrates Court today charged with conspiracy to import a marketable quantity of cocaine under the Criminal Code Act 1995 and supplying cocaine under the Drugs Misuse Act QLD 1986.

A 31-year-old Sunshine Coast man is also expected to face Maroochydore Magistrates Court today charged with conspiracy to import a marketable quantity of cocaine.

The maximum penalty for importing a marketable quantity of a border controlled drug is 25 years imprisonment and/or a $550,000 fine.

ENDS

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