Register
News
Attempted importation of 12.5kg of cocaine - Students jailed

Four Melbourne international students have been found guilty of attempting to import 12.5 kilograms of cocaine hidden inside machinery parts. On February 10 2020, three Colombians and an Italian man were collectively sentenced to serve more than 26 years in jail.


Australian Border Force officers intercepted a suspicious consignment in February 2018 and found more than five kilograms of cocaine inside an airconditioning unit part imported from Panama to Melbourne. They found another consignment that had arrived from Chile containing about 7.5 kilograms of cocaine hidden inside a torque pulley wheel.





Police believe the group operated as part of a larger transnational crime syndicate, stretching across Colombia, Panama, Chile and Australia. The men were arrested when a search warrant was executed at a South Melbourne home in March 2018, when $35,000 in cash was also seized.


The four, aged between 24 and 31, were sentenced in the County Court after pleading guilty to the attempted importation of drugs. Those sentenced were:





  • A Colombian national, 31, sentenced to nine years and three months (with a minimum parole period of six years and three months).

  • A Colombian national, 29, sentenced to seven years and three months (with a minimum parole period of 5½ years).

  • An Italian national, 25, sentenced to 5½ years (with a minimum parole period of three years and nine months)

  • A Colombian national, 28, sentenced to four years and three months (with a minimum parole period of two years and nine months)


A fifth syndicate member – a 27-year-old Colombian male – was sentenced in July to 14½ years' imprisonment, with a minimum parole period of 10 years.