The Australian Border Force, ACT and NSW Police in a joint operation at Bungendore, NSW have made a huge drug bust – 384 kgs of cocaine was found stashed inside the arm of a second hand excavator machine imported from South Africa. The drugs had an estimated street value of over $140 million.
Two men, Timothy Engstrom (34) and Adam Hunter (33) were arrested for their involvement and charged with importing a commercial quantity of a controlled drug. They were produced before Queanbeyan Local Court on Monday morning via a video link. The pair did not apply for bail and were remanded in custody until their next court date in September.
ACT Policing Chief Police Officer (CPO) Ray Johnson said the excavator was imported to Port Kembla from South Africa and then transferred to Port Botany for x-ray examination where the drugs were found.
Acting Deputy Commissioner of Operations at the Australian Border Force Sharon Huey said the concealment of the drugs in the second-hand piece of machinery was “very professional”.
According to the police, the drugs would most probably target ACT – the timely and successful police intervention saved an estimated two million street deals.