Man accused of attempting to smuggle cocaine into Airport

A SPANISH national has been charged with attempting to smuggle five kilograms of cocaine through Cairns Airport.

The 59-year-old man appeared in the Cairns Magistrates court this morning after he was arrested and charged at the Cairns International Airport on Saturday evening.

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) officers selected the man for a baggage examination after he disembarked his flight.

During the examination, inconsistences were noticed in the lining of the carry-on baggage. A physical search was conducted, uncovering a white powder concealed within the lining of three items of the man's luggage.

Initial testing of the white powder indicated a positive result for cocaine.

The man was referred to the Australian Federal Police (AFP), who arrested and charged him with importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug contrary to Section 307.1 (1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

AFP Cairns Airport Police Commander Glen Fisher said the arrest was a great example of agencies working together to stop the importation of drugs.

"The AFP and partner agencies will continue to work together to stop the importation of drugs into Cairns Airport," Detective Superintendent Fisher said.

"This seizure is another example of the excellent work our officers undertake every day."

Further forensic testing will take place to determine exact weight and purity.

The maximum penalty for this offence is 25 years imprisonment and/or an $850,000 fine.



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