Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Kangmin BAE

Serious Drugs
New South Wales

Aid and Abet Importations of Cocaine, Methamphetamine and Heroin

On 13 April 2010 6 cardboard packages containing wheel rims sent from Toronto, Canada via courier, came to the attention of the ACBPS. On examination the items were found to contain approximately 5.8kg of cocaine concealed within the 2 innermost flaps in the base of each box. A few days later a simulated delivery was undertaken by AFP officers to an address in Pyrmont.

The person who signed for the boxes indicated he had been offered $1,000 by a person named ‘Jake’ to receive the boxes

Later the same day police found at another nearby address in Pyrmont, 4 similar boxes shipped from Toronto earlier that year also containing wheel rims and approximately 2.9kg of methamphetamine concealed within the 2 innermost base flaps. Enquiries led the police to identify the occupant of these premises as a person also associated with ‘Jake’.

Assisted by the first person, further enquiries led the police to identify ‘Jake’ as the defendant. On 19 April 2010 the defendant was arrested at Sydney Airport on board an aircraft bound for South Korea. The defendant was aware the intercepted packages had been referred to ACBPS and that police had attended at the home of the second person.

Later that afternoon the AFP searched a rental apartment associated with the defendant where a further 21 boxes from Toronto were found. The police found a further 5.9kg of cocaine, a further 2.9kg of methamphetamine and 1.9kg of heroin concealed within the unopened boxes and elsewhere in the apartment.

Further investigations led the police a few days later to a self-storage facility in Burwood where another 11 empty boxes from Toronto, with flaps removed, were found. At other addresses linked to the defendant, including addresses in Strathfield and Killara, several more empty cardboard boxes of a similar type from Toronto were found, all minus the 2 innermost flaps in the base.

Overall, during the period October 2009 to April 2010, 64 boxes consisting of 24 separate consignments had been shipped from Toronto to addresses in Sydney associated with the defendant, 45 of which were recovered by the police. The defendant was charged with being involved in the importation of all the drugs seized at the various locations totalling in combination approximately 12.8 kg of pure narcotic substances.

The defendant pleaded guilty shortly before his trial to 2 counts of aiding and abetting the importation of a commercial quantity of cocaine pursuant to sections 307.1(1) and 11.2(1) of the Criminal Code; 2 counts of aiding and abetting the importation of a commercial quantity of methamphetamine contrary to sections 307.1(1) and 11.2(1) of the Criminal Code; and 1 count of aiding and abetting the importation of a marketable quantity of heroin contrary to sections 307.2(1) and 11.2(1) of the Criminal Code.

The defendant was sentenced to a total effective penalty of 20 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 12 years.  On 3 June 2015, the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal dismissed an appeal against sentence by the defendant.  The defendant will be eligible for parole in April 2022.

In sentencing the offender the judge found that the offender had come to Australia in December 2009 from Canada for the sole purpose of overseeing the importations and specifically to co-ordinate receipt and collection of the boxes, their safe storage and the subsequent transfer of the narcotics to others for distribution and sale. The judge further remarked on the scale and sophistication of the criminal venture, that it required careful planning and preparation, and that though the offender played only an intermediate role, it was necessary to impose a sentence that would deter both him and others from doing the same.