In recent years, there has been a steady increase in referrals from the NSW Police in relation to matters involving Commonwealth drug and precursor importation charges. However, in 2019‑20 increase rose dramatically.
Afghan national Sayed Abbas (37) played a pivotal role in smuggling asylum seekers on boats from Indonesia to Australia between March 2009 and August 2011. In 2015, he was extradited to Australia from Indonesia to face 27 charges relating to people smuggling offences.
On 23 April 2014, Victoria Police seized a fully automatic Thureon machine gun imported illegally from the United States. It was the first time this type of automatic firearm, which has a cyclic rate of fire of 1,000 rounds of ammunition per minute, had been seized in Australia.
On 8 February 2019, 19-year-old Jewel Victoria Griffiths was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment for importing 121.76 milligrams of carfentanyl into Australia with no commercial intent. She will be eligible for release on recognisance after five months, subject to paying $5000 and being of good behaviour for six months.
A 54 year old Brisbane man, Peter Gooding, appeared before the District Court of Queensland on 13 December 2018 and was convicted of 76 charges of aiding his company, Storetrans Pty Ltd, trading as Goodings Container Transport, to deal with goods at non-quarantine approved premises without the permission of a quarantine officer or a director of quarantine.
On 27 July 2018, Yunhui Xue, a 26-year-old Chinese national who had overstayed his student visa, was sentenced to five years and six months’ imprisonment for smuggling 11.32kg of ephedrine contained in two consignments into Australia.
Following a lengthy 10-week trial in the Supreme Court of Western Australia, seven men involved in trying to smuggle 182kgs (145.6kgs pure) of methamphetamine onto a remote beach in Western Australia, were collectively jailed for over 164 years.
On 6 June 2018, 48-year-old Artur Wojcik, a Polish national, was sentenced to 9 months’ imprisonment, in addition to his existing non-parole period of 6 years and 8 months for importing 2.29kg of pure cocaine, after he was sentenced for escaping from Mannus Correctional Facility in Tumbarumba in early April
On 22 May 2018, the former general manager for a Perth-based livestock exporter was sentenced in the District Court of Western Australia to 18 months’ jail, suspended immediately and released on a $20,000 recognisance order to be of good behaviour for 18 months, for falsifying official documents that saw some 22,000 sheep slaughtered in Pakistan.