“An X-ray of the package revealed anomalies, and an ABF drug detector dog gave a positive reaction. What appeared to be a ‘gap filler’-like material was spilling out of the ends of some of the shelf legs,” an AFP spokesperson said in a statement.
“It will be alleged that when officers deconstructed the legs they located approximately two kilograms of a crystalline substance which returned a presumptive positive test result for meth.”
Four days later, a second identical package, addressed to a Perth residence, was intercepted by ABF officers and allegedly contained another two kilograms of meth concealed in furniture legs.
On July 31, a third package from Malaysia was examined by ABF officers in Brisbane. They allegedly identified meth weighing 1.8 kilograms concealed in eight furniture legs.
That matter was referred to AFP officers in Queensland, who raided a home in the Logan City suburb of Hillcrest, about 20 kilometres south of Brisbane, on Monday, September 14.
A 28-year-old man was arrested and it will be alleged officers found more than $491,000 in cash, an extra 1.8 kilograms of a substance believed to be meth, and 1.2 kilograms of other drugs.
The man appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday charged with a range of drug possession, drug trafficking, drug importation and dealing in the proceeds of crime offences.
He was due to reappear in court on September 22. If convicted, the maximum penalty for these offences ranges from 20 years to life imprisonment, according to the AFP.
As part of the same investigation, WA detectives stopped a vehicle in Canning Vale in southern Perth on Monday, August 3. Several items were seized from the vehicle, including furniture parts.
“It will be alleged that these furniture parts contained a total of approximately two kilograms of methamphetamine concealed within them,” the AFP said in a statement.
A 37-year-old man was arrested. On the same day, WA police and AFP detectives searched the man’s home in Glen Iris in Bunbury and allegedly found similar items containing two kilograms of meth.
It will be further alleged the same man attempted to take possession of similar items on Sunday, July 26, that also contained an estimated two kilograms of meth.
The WA man was charged with a range of drug possession and stolen property offences. He was due to appear in Perth Magistrates court on October 20.
For free, confidential advice on alcohol and drug treatment services, call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015. Access free 24/7 drug and alcohol counselling at the Counselling Online website.
Toby Crockford is a breaking news reporter at the Brisbane Times