A 36-year-old Brazilian national has been arrested and charged after allegedly attempting to import 4.5 kg of cocaine through Sydney International Airport.

The man arrived in Sydney on 26 October to find that his luggage was delayed and due to arrive the next day.

On 27 October, the man’s two bags arrived and Australian Border Force (ABF) officers examined them, with anomalies noted following an X-ray.

Further examination of the luggage revealed a white powder concealed within the bags’ lining. Substance identification testing returned positive results for cocaine.

The ABF officers notified the Australian Federal Police (AFP) who conducted further investigations. On the afternoon of 27 October, AFP officers located the man in Woolloomooloo, Sydney where he was arrested.

The man was charged with importing a commercial quantity of border controlled drug, namely cocaine, contrary to section 307.1 of the Criminal Code Act1995 (Cth).

ABF Acting Regional Commander New South Wales, Matthew O’Connor praised the efforts of the ABF officers who made the seizure.

“Our officers are highly trained and acutely focussed on stopping any attempt to import illicit substances into Australia,” Regional Commander O’Connor said.

“As this case shows, even if luggage is unaccompanied the ABF will still examine it and we will find anything that shouldn’t be there and seize it. This is another large quantity of dangerous drugs that our officers have kept out of the community.”

AFP Acting Airport Police Commander, Simone O’Mahony, said drug importations through the airport are serious offences, matched with serious penalties.

“Passengers attempting to smuggle illicit substances into the country through their luggage can be considered as commercial scale drug importers, and can face a maximum of life behind bars,” Acting Airport Police Commander O’Mahony said.

The man appeared in Sydney Central Local Court yesterday where bail was refused.

This is a joint media release between the AFP and the ABF