An elaborate drug importation scheme has been uncovered after confused alleged drug mules arrived in Melbourne carrying drugs for people pretending to represent the United Nations (UN).
Australian Federal Police allege two drug mules were told by a "UN officer" they would be paid $35 million to carry a suitcase from Asia to Melbourne.
"This United Nations drug mule scam is just another attempt by criminal syndicates who are desperate to import harmful illicit drugs and substances into our country," AFP commander Raegan Stewart said.
"It shows offenders will go to any lengths to bring illicit substances into our community, including scamming travellers offshore to do their dirty work."
Police arrest two alleged mules
A 77-year-old New Zealand man allegedly carried two kilograms of heroin in the lining of a suitcase from Thailand to Melbourne and was stopped by border officers on July 26, 2023.
It was the second time in 24 hours officers had heard the same story.
On July 25 a 39-year-old Western Australian man was arrested flying into Melbourne from Singapore with three kilograms of methamphetamine.
Police said the travellers did not know each other but both had been promised a "lucrative payment" by the fake UN officer.
They were charged with importing a marketable quantity of a border controlled drug and the WA man was also charged with possessing the drugs.
He is due to face Melbourne Magistrate's Court on December 20.
The New Zealand national pleaded guilty and was released on a six month good behaviour bond.
Anyone with information relating to drug mules or the fake UN official scam can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au.
Help is available:
- For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.
- Access free 24/7 drug and alcohol counselling online at counsellingonline.org.au.
- For information about drug and alcohol addiction treatment or support, go to turningpoint.org.au.