Two German pensioners were caught at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport with 22 pounds (10 kilograms) of methamphetamine, more commonly known as crystal meth.
The two 69-year-old travellers, who have since been identified by the names Wilfried and Vera D., arrived in Australia on 4 July after setting off on a flight from Zimbabwe and transiting through South Africa.
They were lucky enough to avoid getting stopped and searched until the Australian Border Force (ABF) decided to examine their luggage upon arrival at the international airport. The large amount of methamphetamine was found hidden in the lining of the duo’s two suitcases with images showing that they were wrapped in brown packages and labelled ‘evidence’ once they had been seized by the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
As initially reported by UNILAD, the two pensioners were indicted with “importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine, contrary to subsection 307.1(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).” In the country, such charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.
In a news report shared by the AFP, Detective Sergeant Angy Polic said the law enforcement agency is working with its international partners to investigate the origins of the drugs seized and stated, “The likelihood that two people can act alone to source a commercial quantity of methamphetamine is rare—organised crime syndicates are often behind such importations.”
“The AFP continues to diligently work to identify and dismantle criminal groups responsible for the importation of illicit drugs into Australia, particularly those seeking to exploit the increased number of arriving flights catering for the resumption of international travel. The AFP and its law enforcement partners remain committed to disrupting organised crime syndicates who seek to harm Australians,” Polic continued.
The successful seizure of the crystal meth is estimated to have saved the community more than $4 million in “drug-related harm, including associated crime, healthcare and loss of productivity,” the AFP added.
Australian Border Force Commander Trade and Travel Operations East, Sue Drennan, also revealed that this is just one of the many attempts made by travellers to bring illegal substances into the country that the ABF has intercepted.
Tough luck, Wilfried and Vera, that’s what you get for trying to be gangsters at 69…
On Friday 29 July 2022, Spanish customs officers intercepted a drug trafficking boat after it crashed on the coast of southern Spain. While they raided the beach and proceeded with the investigation, they were suddenly forced to fend off locals trying to get their hands on the precious cannabis cargo.
In several pieces of footage from the incident which has since gone viral, police were first seen securing the beach when they were swamped by dozens of looters looking to steal the stash. While some officers tried to snatch the cargo back from their hands, others were seen chasing after the locals and trying to detain them.
Heck, the officials were even forced to fly a customs helicopter close to the ground in a final attempt to fend off the swarm of people stealing from the drug bust. Even then, some still took a chance and sprinted under the helicopter to fill their bags with the loot.
The bizarre raid was reportedly filmed from a nearby rooftop in Sanlucar de Barrameda, Cadiz province—while other videos were recorded by beachgoers.
According to reports, as noted by the Daily Mail, the Spanish Customs Office requested the help of the Civil Guard and the National Police to contain the scene when its force was overwhelmed by the looters who “pounced” on the leftover drugs.
The Customs Surveillance team later took to Twitter to thank their workers. “Congratulations to our colleagues, who after an anti-drug operation in Sanlucar and their decisive action, managed to intercept a cache of hashish after the boat carrying the drug ran aground on the beach,” the tweet read.
UNILAD went on to note how cannabis is covered by a “cloudy patch of Spanish law” at the moment. According to the publication, the drug in question is currently decriminalised for personal use in a private place, given that the user only has 100g or less.
“This means that cannabis clubs, where those looking to get a little high can bring their own (short) supply, are popular in Spain’s capital cities,” UNILAD mentioned. “However, trafficking the drug remains a serious criminal offence, for which you could face [a fine of] up to €30,000 (£25,550).”
Those charged with trafficking could also face between three and six years in prison.