Forbidden fruit: Australian police seize half a tonne of cocaine hidden in banana pulp

A Sydney guy is dealing with lifestyles in jail after federal police intercepted cocaine price $248m hid in frozen fruit merchandise from Brazil.

AFP and Border Drive officials seized 552kg of the drug hidden in pallets of banana pulp and branded with koala photos in Sydney on Friday.

In addition they arrested a 68-year-old guy at Forestville, within the town’s north-west, following a tip-off from US government in regards to the cargo, which arrived in Australia on 21 September.

Police allege Mark De Hesselle amassed 139 bins of the pulp and searched via them to take away the medication.

He has been charged with making an attempt to import a industrial amount of border-controlled medicine and possessing a industrial amount of unlawfully imported border-controlled medicine.

Each offences lift a most penalty of lifestyles imprisonment.

AFP detective superintendent Geoffrey Turner stated Covid-19 border restrictions had now not averted felony teams attempting a spread of the right way to carry illicit medicine into Australia.

“Organised crime teams and their mates are taking larger dangers and having a look to transport extra illicit items in bulk on account of world lockdowns,” he stated.

“They suspect opting for on a daily basis pieces corresponding to fruit can be risk free sufficient to thwart regulation enforcement detection.”

Turner stated cocaine unearths its method to Australia vie a “chain of violence and exploitation”.

“Each and every time you employ it simplest fuels this destruction and contours the wallet of organised crime,” he stated.

De Hesselle seemed prior to Sydney central native courtroom on Friday and has been remanded in custody. He’s going to subsequent face courtroom on 16 December.

A separate drug investigation has in the meantime resulted within the seizure of 117kg of methamphetamine hidden in a cargo of latex gloves and the arrest of a 43-year-old Sydney lady.

The consignment used to be additionally seized by way of US government prior to being allowed to proceed its scheduled direction, with Australian government looking ahead to its arrival in Sydney.

AFP and Border Drive officials performed a managed supply of the cargo to a trade cope with in Rydalmere prior to undertaking a seek and arresting the Carlingford lady when she arrived to gather the medication.

She used to be charged with one depend of making an attempt to import and one among making an attempt to own a industrial amount of border-controlled medicine.

She seemed prior to Sydney central native courtroom on Friday and used to be refused bail to reappear on 19 October.

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