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Heroin seized at Perth Airport.

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Media Release


Minister for Justice and Customs Senator for Western Australia

31 July 2001

Heroin seized at Perth Airport Customs has seized almost 600g of heroin concealed in a bodypack and a pair of shoes at Perth International Airport, the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison, announced today.

The heroin was found after Customs selected for examination a male passenger who had arrived at the airport on Saturday from South Africa.

Forensic examination by the Australian Federal Police later found a total of 597g of powder, identified as heroin, with a potential street value of about $300,000.

"That’s about 3,600 hits of this dangerous and potentially deadly drug that won’t be reaching the streets of Perth," Senator Ellison said.

Senator Ellison said the airport seizure followed a day after the massive seizure of an estimated one tonne of cocaine on a beach at Shark Bay in an operation involving AFP, Customs and WA Police.

"This latest seizure demonstrates that no matter how large or small if you attempt to import illicit drugs into Australia you will be caught," Senator Ellison said.

A man, 30, a dual national of Romania and Israel, appeared today at Perth Central Law Courts on a charge of importing a prohibited import and has been remanded in custody until 7 August.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment.

Senator Ellison said the chances of Customs detecting drugs in Western Australia would be significantly increased with a 30% boost to staff numbers and the purchase of three new x-ray machines announced as part of new measures to prevent foot and mouth disease from entering Australia.

"That’s about 40 new customs officers who will be on guard in Western Australia against not only the threat of disease but also drug traffickers," Senator Ellison said.


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