Drug and Firearm Squad detectives in Sydney have charged two Greek nationals following an investigation into the discovery of 120kg of cocaine in a shipping container, it was announced on Sunday.
The drugs, estimated to have street value of approximately 60 million AUD, were stashed within the walls of a shipping container at Sydney’s Port Botany.
“Rip-on, rip-off” drug smuggling investigation
About 11pm on Thursday, officers attached to Eastern Beaches Area Command were called to a shipping container logistics company in Port Botany following reports of a break and enter, New South Wales police describes.
A 27-year-old man was detained by security guards after he was located among the shipping containers until police arrived and placed him under arrest. Officers were told a second man had fled the scene.
Local police commenced inquiries before State Crime Command’s Drug and Firearm Squad took carriage of the investigation under the newly established Strike Force Biles, which investigates the supply of large commercial quantities of prohibited drugs using the “rip on, rip off” methodology of imported prohibited drugs using legitimate shipping containers.
Australian Border Force attending the scene revealed a quantity of approximately 120kg of cocaine, packaged in 1kg bricks and stored within the walls of the container.
Greek nationals arrested in connection to drugs in Sydney denied bail
The 27-year-old suspect was taken to Newtown Police Station where he was charged with enter of enclosed lands, assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and malicious damage.
He was refused bail and appeared in Waverley Local Court on Friday, where he was formally refused bail to re-appear in the same court on June 13.
Following further inquiries, strike force detectives executed search warrants Friday evening at three units across the Balmain and Leichhardt areas, where they located crow bars, breaking tools, gloves, bags and other items relevant to the investigation, which were seized to undergo forensic examination.
During the search of a unit on Parramatta Road in Leichhardt, detectives arrested a second Greek national.
The 19-year-old man was also taken to Newtown Police Station, where he was charged with intent to commit indictable offence, large commercial supply of prohibited drugs and attempt to possess a commercial quantity of border restricted drug.
He was refused bail and appeared at Parramatta Local Court on Saturday, where he was formally refused bail to reappear at Downing Centre Local Court on July 20.
Drug and Firearm Squad detectives continue to work on the case with Australian Border Force and Australian Federal Police as inquiries continue.