Australian customs nab TC with $3.5m meth in suitcase
A Turkish Cypriot is stopped at Sydney International Airport, where he was allegedly caught by a customs officer trying to smuggle methamphetamine with a market value of $3.5 million into Australia, hidden in a suitcase (left).
A TURKISH Cypriot was caught allegedly trying to smuggle methamphetamine with a market value of 3.5 million into Australia through Sydney International Airport.
The 1976-born man, who is also a “Republic of Cyprus” citizen, flew from Qatar to Sydney last Sunday, when the Australian Border Force (ABF) is said to have spotted “inconsistencies” in his luggage X-rays, and decided to investigate.
Video footage showed how security discovered four kilos of the drug — known as “ice” — hidden inside the lining of the suitcase. Local reports said the man had pleaded not guilty to drugs offences and was remanded in custody until his next court hearing on December 5. He could face life imprisonment if convicted.
A Greek Cypriot police spokesman told Cyprus Today: “We are in current talks with the Australian authorities and are awaiting the outcome of the investigation . . . We also want to determine how the drugs were obtained — whether they were obtained from the [North]”.
Hakkı Önen, the Turkish Cypriot co-head of the Bicommunal Technical Committee on Crime and Criminal Matters, learning of the incident from Cyprus Today, said: “We are cooperating with Greek Cypriot authorities via the committee. Even though the alleged crime has taken place outside Cyprus, he is a member of the Turkish Cypriot community, so information is being shared.”
A TRNC police spokesman also said they had launched an investigation.
Acting ABF regional commander Tony McSweeney congratulated ABF officers for their efforts to stop drug smuggling, saying: “We know the significant damage ‘ice’ is having on communities around the country, and our officers at the border are committed to stopping drug like this reaching our kids and destroying families and communities.”