More than 160 kilograms of heroin with an estimated street value of $410 million has been found packed inside 10 wooden doors at Port Botany.
A 55-year-old mother and her 28-year-old son, from Campsie in Sydney’s west, and a 33-year-old man from Hong Kong have been charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug. The maximum penalty for the offence is life imprisonment.
The container, with 295 doors, arrived in Sydney from Malaysia in October when the drugs were detected by Customs officers.
Advertisement: Story continues belowThe Australian Federal Police then monitored the container and followed it as it was moved to a warehouse in Guildford last Friday.
They made all three arrests at Campsie on Saturday night.
Federal police commander Dave Stewart said it was the largest heroin seizure in Australia since 2002 and the fifth largest of all time.
He said the heroin had a value of $58.8 million but, when cut with other substances, had the potential to net seven times that amount.
It is alleged the drugs were bound for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
The mother is due to appear at Sydney’s Central Local Court today.
Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor has hailed customs and police officers for the operation, saying it had prevented “untold damage” to Australian families.
Mr O’Connor said the operations showed the government and law enforcement agencies were serious about stopping drugs from entering Australia.
“Taking these drugs off Australian streets deprives the drug trade of $58.8 million in proceeds and prevents the untold damage caused to Australian families by drug use, he said in a statement today
“This major bust comes just weeks after the third largest seizure of cocaine in a joint operation by the agencies, in which 464 kilograms of cocaine was seized in waters off Brisbane.”