Teenager charged with smuggling 26kg of methamphetamine worth $24m into Sydney

A teenager has been charged after allegedly attempting to smuggle more than $24 million worth of methamphetamine – estimated to be enough for 260,000 street deals – into Australia.

The 18-year-old US traveller was stopped by Australian Border Force officials at Sydney Airport on Wednesday after flying from the US to Australia.

Officers seized a total of 26 kilograms of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of over $24 million after finding over 20 packages wrapped in plastic in the man’s two suitcases.

Australian Federal Police officers were notified and went to the airport to conduct further investigations.

The man was subsequently arrested and charged with importing a controlled drug across the border.

He was refused bail at the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney on Thursday and will next appear on July 24.

AFP Detective Superintendent Peter Fogarty said the 26 kilograms of methamphetamine could be split into an estimated 260,000 individual street deals.

“Criminal groups continue to attempt to import these insidious substances and the negative impact that illicit drugs have on Australian society cannot be overstated,” Detective Superintendent Fogarty said.

“Our message remains clear: we will find those who seek to harm Australians and bring them to justice, where they could face life imprisonment.”

Rose Cracknell, commander of ABF Travel East, said the discovery showed that some individuals and syndicates were “taking outrageous risks to try to circumvent our borders”.

“Our airport ABF officers are highly trained to observe passenger behaviour. They rely not only on intelligence but also on instinct to identify potential threats,” said Commander Cracknell.

“This is a significant detection of methamphetamine that will prevent potential harm to tens of thousands of families.

“This should also serve as a warning to any other travellers who run the gauntlet and try to circumvent our border controls – we will stop you and you will be brought to justice.”

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