Melbourne Man Jailed Over 266kg MDMA Import

A Roxburgh Park man has been sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment for his role in the importation of 266kg of liquid MDMA concealed in a consignment purporting to be French wine.

The man, 26, was sentenced at the Melbourne County Court today (Friday 15 March, 2024), after pleading guilty to one count of Aid and Abet the Importation of a Commercial Quantity of Border Controlled Drugs (MDMA).

The man was arrested during a Victorian Joint Organised Crime Taskforce (VIC-JOCTF) investigation that began in September 2022, following an ABF detection of 270 wine bottles containing liquid MDMA, concealed within an air cargo consignment from France.

The total amount of imported MDMA had an estimated street value of more than $14 million in 2022.

Police seized the MDMA before allowing the consignment to be delivered to its intended destination, being a self-storage facility in Hallam, in October 2022.

A Cranbourne man, 23, was identified accessing the storage facility and examining the consignment. This led police to execute search warrants at Roxburgh Park, Cranbourne and Hallam.

The two men were subsequently arrested and charged with drug importation offences.

The Cranbourne man has pled not guilty and is currently awaiting trial.

The Roxburgh man faced court today and was sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of eight years and nine months.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent David MacGregor said transnational serious organised crime (TSOC) groups were driven by money and power and had no regard for the harm illicit substances inflicted on our community.

“The AFP cannot overstate the amount of harm that 266kg of MDMA could have caused to our community if it had not been intercepted by law enforcement,” Det.Act.Supt MacGregor said.

“The death rate for psychostimulants in Australia, which includes MDMA, is almost four times higher than it was in 2000.*

“Although MDMA is commonly used by individuals as a party drug, it can have devastating long-term effects on their mental health, and memory and cognitive impairment.

“The AFP will continue to work tirelessly with law enforcement partners to disrupt attempts made by organised crime groups to import large quantities of illicit drugs into Australia and profit at the expense of the community.”

Victoria Police Detective Acting Superintendent Dan Ryan said this result was testament to the cooperation between law enforcement agencies.

“The harm this amount of MDMA could have inflicted on the Victorian community would have been immense and also had the potential to have life changing impacts on a range of innocent parties.

“Our work does not stop with this result. Alongside our law enforcement partners, we will look to chase up every avenue of enquiry possible as a result of this investigation and we will continue to disrupt the importation of illicit drugs into Victoria.”

ABF Commander of Investigations and Maritime Operations – South, Clint Sims, said the detection was a warning to criminals thinking of importing illegal drugs into Australia that it is only a matter of time until law enforcement agencies catch up with you.

“Our highly-trained officers have a wide range of capabilities at their disposal, informed by intelligence and sophisticated technology, to target and detect illicit drugs at Australia’s border,” Commander Sims said.

“The ABF remains focused on disrupting any attempt by criminals to make money off the misery and harm these drugs cause in our community.”

*Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

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