A joint operation between the Australian Border Force (ABF) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP), in cooperation with the US Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), New Zealand Customs Service (NZCS) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has resulted in the seizure of approximately 95 kilograms of cocaine from a cruise ship in Sydney and the arrest of three Canadian nationals on drug importation charges.
On Sunday 28 August, ABF officers boarded the vessel when it berthed in Sydney Harbour, and with the assistance of detector dogs, searched a number of passenger cabins on the ship. During this search, approximately 95 kilograms of cocaine was located, packed in suitcases.
AFP officers then arrested three Canadian nationals, a 63-year-old man, a 28-year-old woman and a 23-year old woman.
All three will face Sydney Central Local court today (Monday 29 August), charged with importing a commercial quantity of cocaine.
The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.
ABF Assistant Commissioner, Strategic Border Command, Clive Murray said that this was yet another example of international cooperation leading to significant results in the fight against international drug syndicates.
“These syndicates should be on notice that the Australian Border Force is aware of all of the different ways they attempt to smuggle drugs into our country and we are working with a range of international agencies to stop them,” Assistant Commissioner Murray said.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Crime Operations Shane Connelly said that the AFP’s first priority will always be the safety of the community, and police will continue to target criminals looking to cause harm in Australia.
“Today’s successful operation has resulted in three arrests and we will not rule out further activity as we continue our investigations. The AFP is committed to working with its partner agencies to protect the community by stopping these dangerous drugs making their way to Australian communities, and bringing those responsible to justice,” Assistant Commissioner Connelly said.
AFP investigations remain ongoing and further arrests have not been ruled out.