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Hiding in Container Floors
The operation began with information from Taskforce Blaze that a container departing Yantian Port in Shenzhen, China had a consignment of drugs concealed in the floor. Named operation 'Valencia',the investigation uncovered AUD100 million worth of crystal methamphetamine, better known as 'ice' concealed in the floor of the shipping container. The haul was estimated to have weighed 101 kilograms. Five men were arrested and charged in relation to importation and smuggling of illegal drugs into the country.

On Friday 24 February a 22-year-old Fijian national was arrested for his alleged role in facilitating the attempted importation after the container was delivered to an address in Western Sydney. Two other men, a 38-year-old Australian man and a 42-year-old Hong Kong resident, were arrested and charged later on the same day for their alleged involvement in the syndicate. One Chinese national and one Hong Kong resident were arrested in Guangdong Province, China in connection with the alleged importation.

Australian Federal Police Detective Acting Superintendent Luke Needham, said the operation was another success for the Taskforce Blaze partnership with the Chinese National Narcotics Control Commission. “This unprecedented merging of our two countries’ efforts to combat organised crime is continuing to pay dividends in the form of harmful drugs that will never reach Australian streets,” Detective Acting Superintendent Needham said.

Deputy Commander Taskforce Blaze Jianwei Deng said this operation was another success for Taskforce Blaze, which is promoted by senior officials of both the Chinese National Narcotics Control Commission and the AFP. “This success shows that despite the current global spread of drugs, transnational drug trafficking crimes can only be curbed through strengthened international drug law enforcement co-operation.”