The recent announcements by authorities of drug busts involving prefabricated steel and honey jars shows just how determined drug smugglers are to bring illicit drugs into Australia.
Two Iranian nationals were arrested in relation to bringing 10 kilograms of methamphetine hidden inside honey jars on an international flight.
Meanwhile, several Australians have been detained in Serbia in relation to the discovery of 1.28 tonnes of cocaine in a Chinese freighter that had sailed from China to Sydney. The drug was concealed inside prefabricated steel and had a street value of more than $500 million.
Over the past year our border security authorities have excelled in detecting illicit drugs before they hit our streets. They have prevented millions of hits from being distributed. Here are a few of the ultra-creative ways that drug smugglers have tried to outsmart our authorities…and failed.
Drugs were found in a shipping container disguised to look like table salt. Another shipping container with agricultural machinery was found to be hiding a large haul of cocaine. Drugs have also been found inside cow milking machines, milk canisters, wall tiles and timber flooring.
Out on the highways, police have made a number of discoveries of drugs hidden inside sleeper cabs of prime movers. The drug syndicates use truckies to transport their supplies to regional towns.
There are plenty of stories of cars having drugs hidden inside door cavities…or the First Aid kit! One vehicle in WA had a sophisticated magnetic locking system activated by the driver which revealed a false floor welded under the car. Police have also found drugs hidden inside the walls of houses and behind air conditioning units.
On the topic of property…recent arrests have uncovered drug rings being operated from an Air BnB house in Sydney and from hotel rooms across the nation.
Liquid drugs (MDMA) have been smuggled into Australia in wine bottles, honey jars and green tea bottles.
Out at sea the Royal Australian Navy is part of an international task force patrolling the West Indian Ocean looking for boats heading for Australia. HMAS Arunta made the news last year following big seizures and more recently HMAS Warramunga found a large amount of drugs hidden inside false compartments in a fishing boat. The 915 kilos of heroin had a value of $274 million.
Closer to home, the French Navy intercepted a yacht near New Caledonia and found 1.4 tonnes of cocaine hidden inside the hull. It was worth $322 million.
Some airline passengers have been found with pouches of drugs in their stomach. One man was arrested at an Australian airport with $330,000 worth of methamphetamines strapped to his testicles.
Out in rural New South Wales an innocent looking farm was found to have a huge underground marijuana farm. The elaborate cavern had irrigation and lighting systems.
Sometimes drug smugglers still rely on age-old techniques. This month a UK national was stopped at the airport after arriving from Thailand. Security officials 2 kilograms of cocaine stuffed into the lining of his suitcase. Drugs have been discovered inside hollowed out books. Another time a person tried to bring drugs through an airport inside a kite surfing bag. Authorities were attracted to it because it weighed so much more than a kite should.
Border security officials have reported that dealers even mail drugs to their customers.
Drug-Safe Communities would like to congratulate our border security and police forces for the exemplary work they are doing in protecting us. We encourage the Federal and state governments to increase their funding of these invaluable services.
The truth is…Australia is in the midst of a drug epidemic. If the drugs mentioned above had made it through our security screen that epidemic would have been much more catastrophic and ruined innumerably more lives!