SYDNEY: Australian police have clipped the wings of a high-flying organised crime syndicate which smuggled drugs worth about US$14 million into the country, deploying a female airline cabin crew member as courier.
Authorities said Wednesday that eight people were arrested during a two-week blitz in Melbourne, including the woman who used her job status to smuggle the drugs.
According to Xinhua news agency, the suspects were linked to the trafficking of six kilogrammes of high-grade heroin and eight kilogrammes of methamphetamine over five months.
“This was a well-organised syndicate we know had operated across Australia undetected for many years,” said Crime Command assistant commissioner Tess Walsh.
The police also seized vehicles, large amounts of cash and half a kilogramme of cocaine.
Australian Border Force regional commander Victoria, Craig Palmer, said the arrests displayed what would happen to anyone attempting to bring harmful drugs into the country, regardless of their methods.
“Airline staff are not above the law – they are subject to intervention at the border like everyone else and face significant penalties if found to be using their positions to attempt to circumvent our border controls,” said Palmer.
Six of the eight members were refused bail and will appear in court on May 15. – Bernama