A Nigerian man could be jailed for life for allegedly smuggling $10million worth of ice into Australia inside a gaudy fish statue.
Sydney border force officers found 10kg of the highly addictive drug hidden inside one of three gold-coloured fish statues destined for a residential address in Kaleen, north of Canberra.
Police were alerted and arrested the 32-year-old after he picked up the statues, removed the drugs, and tried to board a bus bound for Sydney on Saturday.
The drug stash, which had been imported from China, was found on the man when he was arrested, police say.
The man, who arrived in Australia in July on a student visa, faces a maximum penalty of life in jail if he’s convicted of attempting to possess a commercial quantity of an illegal drug.
The joint operation between ACT Policing and the Australian Federal police began earlier this month, following the Nigerian’s movements to two addresses before the statues were opened.
A search warrant was conducted on a property in Kaleen where similar statues and packaging were found.
Deputy Chief Police Officer Andrea Quinn credits the find to the joint operation between the law enforcement agencies.
“We continue to work closely with our partners to prevent this destructive drug reaching our streets,” Commander Quinn said.
The 32-year-old is due to face the ACT Magistrates Court on Monday.
In September, two Nigerians were similarly arrested in Australia for importing more than 40kg of methamphetamine into the country.
The men were identified as 51-year-old Iwuchukwu Odemegwo and Chibuike Anyasor. The duo concealed the drug inside bar fridges and Jackie Chan-branded DVD players.