Hefty jail sentences follow drug bust

Tate Papworth

Two Vietnamese nationals will spend significant time behind bars after they were caught importing more than 300 kilograms of methamphetamine concealed inside steel gates into Victoria in 2017.

A 28 year old man, who was considered to be a high-level criminal syndicate organiser, was sentenced to 23 years and six months’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 15 years and 6 months.

His co-accused, a 26 year old man, was also sentenced to serve six years and three months, with a non-parole period of three years and 9 months.

The pair were sentenced after facing the Melbourne County Court on Wednesday, April 29.

It followed a joint investigation between Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Border Force (ABF) in 2017.

The court heard that ABF officers detected a suspicious consignment containing large metal gates imported to Melbourne from China.

The consignment was found to contain a total of 300 one-kilogram packages of crystal methamphetamine concealed within the frames of the gates.

The AFP initiated a controlled delivery of the gates to a Derrimut property before later executing a series of search warrants at properties in Derrimut, St Albans, Sunshine and in the Melbourne CBD.

Three men, all Vietnamese nationals, were arrested and charged with offences relating to the importation of commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.

The third co-accused, a 27 year old man, was found not guilty at trial on March 20, 2019. He was subsequently deported from Australia.