Feb 06, 2024

Older man gets 12 years in prison for importing meth

The traveller attempted to conceal 18.55kg of crystal methamphetamine in the shoeboxes, which had an estimated street value of more than $17 million. [Source: AFP]

A 78-year-old Canadian national has been sentenced to 12 years in prison by the County Court of Victoria on February 2, for importing over 18kg of methamphetamine through Melbourne Airport in 2022.

The offender was arrested in June 2022 by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) after Australian Border Force (ABF) officers found seven shoeboxes with the contraband concealed within his suitcase. 

In a press release, the AFP said that the man had hidden 18.55kg of crystal methamphetamine in his luggage, which had an estimated street value of more than $17 million.

He pleaded guilty in April 2023 at a hearing where he was charged with importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug, contrary to section 307.1 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

AFP Detective Superintendent Simone Butcher said, “The risk of spending significant time in jail – particularly for a foreign national who may be a long way from their family and friends – far outweighs the potential financial gains of importing illicit drugs into Australia.” 

ABF Acting Superintendent Ian Beasant said it was likely the passenger thought concealing methamphetamine in shoeboxes would go undetected.

“Our officers have seen every trick in the book with passengers thinking they can outsmart our officers, and this man is now paying a very heavy price for that misconception,” he said.

Det-Supt Butcher said she hoped the case sent a strong warning to people about the consequences of attempting to smuggle illicit drugs into Australia.


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