A 384 kg haul of cocaine, with a street value of$144 million, has been seized in what is the largest ever drug interception operation coordinated by ACT Policing, and it’s seen two Karabar men charged with drug importation offences.
Earlier this year, ACT Policing received information relating to a possible drug importation syndicate operating in southern NSW and the ACT.
A joint operation commenced with partners from NSW Police, the AFP’s National Anti-Gangs Squad, Australian Border Force and other partners.
In June, Australian Border Force (ABF) officers intercepted a second-hand excavator which had recently arrived from South Africa. The excavator was X-rayed at the Sydney Container Examination Facility and anomalies were identified in the X-ray image.
Upon further inspection, approximately 384 kg of cocaine was found to be concealed within the excavator. This volume of cocaine has a street value of approximately $144 million.
Subsequent investigations by the joint team identified a number of persons of interest in the ACT and southern NSW area.
Following a controlled delivery of the excavator this week, two Karabar men, aged 33 and 34, were arrested at a business premises in Bungendore NSW on Sunday 14 July.
Both men were charged with the importation of a commercial quantity of border controlled drug and attempting to possess a border controlled drug.
They appeared in the Queanbeyan Magistrates Court on 15 July where they were remanded.