Teenage girl, 17, is charged with trying to import $16MILLION worth of heroin after cops intercepted ‘huge haul of Chinese drugs hidden in her wardrobe’
- A 17-year-old girl has been charged over a $16million transnational heroin bust
- Chinese investigators informed Australian police about suspicious consignment
- 254 blocks blocks of heroin were planned to be sent from China to Australia
A 17-year-old girl has been charged over her alleged role in a multi-million dollar drug-smuggling operation bringing heroin into Australia from China.
Australian Federal Police executed a search warrant at the Perth teen’s home on May 4 where they allegedly uncovered a package that was supposed to contain 22kg of heroin hidden in her bedroom wardrobe.
The dangerous drug had been switched out by investigators after a consignment of 254 vacuum sealed blocks of ‘half-catti’ Double UOGlobe-branded heroin was flagged by Chinese authorities, police say.
A 17-year-old girl has been charged over her alleged role in a multi-million dollar drug-smuggling operation bringing heroin into Australia from China
The National Narcotics Control Commission and the Guangdong Narcotics Control Board in China intercepted multiple suspicious consignments destined for Australia last month.
When they examined the packages they discovered 74.5kg of heroin destined for three locations in Newcastle and one in Perth, police say.
The Chinese drug investigators tipped off the AFP’s Guangzhou Office who then conjured up the scheme to switch out the drugs for a harmless substance and send the packages on to their intended addresses in Australia.
A joint operation involving heavily armed police also charged a 23-year-old man after he allegedly collected one of the four consignments sent to a residence in Lambton, Newcastle.
Search warrants were also executed at several addresses across the city – in Jesmond, Belmont, Lambton and The Hill – by the AFP, the NSW Drug and Firearms Squad and the Newcastle City Police District.
Investigators allegedly seized ‘a small amount of drugs, cash, drug paraphernalia and a mobile phone, which will be subject to further forensic examination’.
A joint operation involving heavily armed police also arrested a 23-year-old man after he allegedly collected one of the four consignments sent to a residence in Lambton, Newcastle
AFP Commander Asia Peter Sykora said the bust was another great example of cooperation between Australian and Chinese law enforcement to take down transnational organised crime groups.
‘It is common for drug distributors to add a variety of substances to heroin and other illicit drugs to increase the volume and, therefore make bigger profits. Anything from paracetamol to poisons can be added to the final product, you will never know what you are ingesting,’ he said.
‘Organised crime groups will try to distribute these substances in any area of Australia if they think they can make a profit – they don’t care about the harm they cause.
‘The AFP is targeting these syndicates, and we are working with our law enforcement partners in Australia and offshore to outsmart them.’
Both the 17 and 23 year-old were refused bail and have been remanded in custody.
They are both charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs – an offense which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The latest annual figures from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, released last month, revealed 474 Australians died in 2019 from heroin use.
AFP Commander Asia Peter Sykora said the bust was another great example of cooperation between Australian and Chinese law enforcement to take down transnational organised crime groups
17-year-old Perth girl charged with attempting to import more than $16million worth of China heroin