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Two cocaine detections in one day at Sydney Airport.

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Media Release


Minister for Justice and Customs

Senator for Western Australia

E51/04 24 April 2004

Two cocaine detections in one day at Sydney Airport

In two separate seizures at Sydney International Airport, Customs officers yesterday seized almost nine kilograms of concealed cocaine, the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison, announced today.

Combined, the cocaine had an estimated potential street value of $2.7 million dollars.

“The first passenger, who arrived on a United Airlines flight from Los Angeles, was selected by Customs officers for a baggage examination. An Ionscan of the passenger’s suitcase and three pairs of ladies platform thongs returned high readings for cocaine,” Senator Ellison said.

“An x-ray examination identified six packages concealed within the lining of the bag. X-ray scans of the thongs revealed anomalies consistent with a concealed narcotic.

“Several hours later the second passenger, who arrived on a Qantas flight from South Africa, was selected for a baggage examination. An Ionscan of the passenger’s suitcase also returned high readings for cocaine.

“As a result of the separate detections Australian Federal Police agents have charged a 27-year-old US male and 36-year-old female travelling on a Spanish passport with importing a prohibited import under the Customs Act.

“Customs and AFP officers are to be congratulated on these latest detections,” Senator Ellison said.

“This last week has been very successful for Customs officers working at our international airports with significant cocaine and heroin detections.

“The sophisticated technology utilised by our border protection agencies combined with the highly-skilled officers deployed around our country has resulted in keeping a large quantity of drugs off our streets.”

The man appeared before Waverley Local Court yesterday afternoon and was remanded in custody to appear at Central Local Court in Sydney on Tuesday, 27 April 2004. The woman appeared in Parramatta Local Court today.

Media inquiries: Michael Barrett (02) 6277 7260 or 0419 424 359