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Two Malaysian men, aged 26 and 36, were arrested and charged on 10 June 2022, with allegedly importing 67 individual 'bricks' of Heroin with a total weight of 23.62 kilograms.
The men faced Melbourne Magistrates' Court on 11 June 2022, and were remanded in custody.
The men are scheduled to appear in court again today (14 October 2022).
Operation Kadina was launched in April 2022, after Australian Border Force (ABF) officers received intelligence from Thai authorities.
Subsequently, ABF in Victoria intercepted multiple packages allegedly containing illicit drugs that were bound for Sunbury.
They allegedly found quantities of heroin in electrical monitoring equipment.
As a result of the investigation, the AFP with assistance from Victoria Police executed a search warrant at a Melbourne home in June.
Police allegedly found videos stored on a mobile phone of the two men unpacking bags of a white crystalline substance which were suspected to be illicit drugs.
Investigators seized other items allegedly linked to the importations, including a handwritten ledger of delivery addresses, fake names and phone numbers for drug consignments, and a delivery note relating to a consignment of heroin seized by the ABF.
AFP Detective Inspector Julian Bianco said the arrests should send a clear message to criminals that the AFP was working tirelessly to make Australia a hostile place for anyone involved in the illegal drug trade.
"The AFP and its partners, domestically and internationally will continue to work closely to combat the illicit drug trade and stop them from causing harm in our communities," Detective Inspector Bianco said.
"These people prey on our community, causing drug-related crime and the associated health and social costs. Police are keeping a watch on every corner and will continue to identify, arrest and prosecute those involved in this type of activity."
ABF Superintendent Maritime Operations Dan Peters said the charges against the men were a great result and a testament to the dedication and hard work of the officers of the ABF.
"The excellent work of our officers has helped prevent these deadly drugs from reaching our streets," Supt Peters said.
"Criminals will try to hide illicit substances in a variety of creative ways, however our officers have many detection methods at their disposal with officer intuition and use of innovative technologies often the driving forces behind these kind of discoveries.
"The ABF works with its partners both here in Australia and overseas to ensure illicit drugs don't reach our communities."
The men were charged with:
• Importing a commercial quantity of heroin, contrary to section 307.1(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
• Attempting to possess a commercial quantity of heroin, contrary to section 307.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
The maximum penalty for these offences is 25 years' imprisonment.
The investigation is ongoing and police have not ruled out laying further charges.
Note to media:
Media are encouraged to include help-seeking information in stories about illicit drugs to minimise any negative impact on people in the community.
The following services provide people with access to support and information.
• For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.
• Access free 24/7 drug and alcohol counselling online at www.counsellingonline.org.au.
• For information about drug and alcohol addiction treatment or support, go to www.turningpoint.org.au.
AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297