A mother and son have been charged over one of Australia's biggest heroin hauls after drugs with a potential street value of $405 million were found in a shipment of doors, police said on Monday.
They said 168kg of heroin was detected by customs officers who X-rayed a shipment of 295 wooden doors from Malaysia and discovered that 10 contained packages of white powder.
“A seizure of this magnitude is significant,” Australian Federal Police Commander David Stewart told reporters, saying that the last of such a size was in 2002. “This importation is the fifth largest in Australian history.”
Stewart said the heroin was worth $58.1 million in its current form but had the potential to be worth as much as eight times that on the street depending on how many times it was cut.
Police allowed the doors to be delivered to their destination, and then charged a 55-year-old Sydney woman and her son, 28, along with a 33-year-old Hong Kong man after they allegedly removed the heroin and took it away.
All three have been charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of heroin and face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.