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Melbourne: Australian Police Seize 21kgs Of Heroin

Big Melbourne heroin seizure another win for cooperative law enforcement

A combined operation by Australian Customs and Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers has resulted in the seizure of almost 21 kilograms of heroin, the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison, said today.

Two foreign nationals were arrested on Saturday following the detection of heroin, allegedly concealed in six injection moulding machines that arrived at the Port of Melbourne from Malaysia in mid-November this year.

"This is another example of a highly sophisticated attempt to smuggle deadly drugs into Australia which was prevented by the swift and effective work of Customs and the AFP," Senator Ellison said.

"The Customs and AFP personnel who were involved in this cooperative effort are to be congratulated for helping to stop 210,000 hits of heroin from hitting the streets," he said.

Customs officers identified the cargo as high-risk following intelligence obtained by a joint operation. Drug detector dogs and x-ray technology were then used to locate the elaborately-concealed drugs.

AFP officers then placed the container under surveillance and monitored its delivery to a warehouse in Dandenong where the machinery was unpacked. Further surveillance led to the arrests.

A 53-year-old Singaporean national and a 27-year-old Malaysian national have been charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of heroin under the Customs Act. The maximum penalty for trafficking offences is a fine of up to $750,000 and/or life imprisonment.

"This excellent work by Customs and the AFP has stopped approximately 21kg of heroin from causing untold harm to Australians," Senator Ellison said.

"The men arrested by the AFP have found out that no matter how crafty their alleged attempts to bring narcotics into Australia, they will be brought undone by the combination of experienced and skilled professional officers and cutting-edge technology."

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