In 2022 two men were charged after attempting to use a vintage jukebox to smuggle in 45kg of cocaine – with an estimated street worth of around $20 million.
However, their plans were foiled when Australian Border Force officers discovered a hidden compartment within the jukebox, detected when it arrived in Melbourne from Greece.
Police allowed the jukebox to be collected and transported to a property in Sunshine North, where three men were arrested and two charged over the bust. The seizure of such a large amount of cocaine is a significant victory in Australia’s war on drugs.
“We know drug trafficking can lead to drug wars in our streets and in source countries, and often law-abiding citizens can be the collateral damage to that violence.” – AFP Detective Inspector McKiernan.
Police alleged the men were significant members of a crime syndicate who they had been investigating for months. They believe the men had been involved in previous border-controlled drug importations.
“Illicit drug trafficking can also bankroll other abhorrent crimes, such as human trafficking and sexual servitude.” – AFP Detective Inspector McKiernan.
Police searched the Sunshine North property as well as homes in Spotswood and Reservoir, along with commercial premises in Toorak and Kingsville. These further searches resulted in the seizure of items including: two Mercedes-Benz vehicles, a Harley Davidson motorbike, luxury watches, jewellery, items of clothing, various drugs and a significant amount of cash.
The men were each charged with importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug and attempting to possess a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug. They were remanded into police custody where they faced Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.
“Our aim is to ensure we disrupt the organised crime syndicates responsible for these imports, so to charge two people as well as effecting these seizures is extremely satisfying”. – Victoria Police Acting Detective Superintendent Andrew Stamper.
Anyone with information about drug trafficking is urged to Crime Stoppers.
Contacting Crime Stoppers anonymously means the criminals will never know it was you who spoke up.
Find out more about our illicit drugs campaign here.