A jukebox imported to Australia from Greece was found to be hiding around 45kg (99 lbs) of cocaine, which was estimated to be worth around $22 million AUD.
A total of three men have been arrested in the city of Melbourne in connection to the jukebox, which was found to be hiding the drugs after Australian Border Force officers examined the object.
Authorities waited for the men to pick up the object and take it to a home in the Melbourne suburb of Sunshine North before making the arrests on Tuesday.
Those arrested were a 66-year-old Greek man, a 39-year-old man from the Melbourne suburb of Spotswood, and a Reservoir man, aged 26.
Jukebox from Greece used to smuggle cocaine into Australia
The 39 and 26-year-old men were charged with importing drugs and attempted possession of drugs. The Greek man was released.
The men were the subject of a months-long investigation by Australian Border Police, who suspected that the group was involved in importing drugs into the country and likely had ties to organized crime.
In connection with the case, police also searched two homes in Spotswood and Reservoir, as well as too properties in Toorak and Kingsville.
Authorities took possession of two Mercedes-Benzes, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, drugs, cash, and a cache of designer clothing and luxury jewelry.
Australian Detective Inspector Mark McKiernan stated that the bust served as a message to criminals across the country about organized crime: “We are sending a strong and clear message today to organised crime. We will not stop. We are coming after you…”
“There is a perception by some in the community that cocaine is a safe drug…Let me be clear—it is not—and just as importantly, the transnational serious organised criminals who target Australia are also undermining our national security, economy and social security system,” he stated, according to 9News.
“We also know drug trafficking can lead to drug wars in our streets and in source countries, and often law-abiding citizens can be the collateral damage to that violence,” it was said. “Illicit drug trafficking can also bankroll other abhorrent crimes, such as human trafficking and sexual servitude.”