Police bust Colombian cocaine coffee smuggler in New South Wales

Australian Federal Police have charged a Spanish man living in NSW with multiple drug offences.
Camera IconAustralian Federal Police have charged a Spanish man living in NSW with multiple drug offences. Credit: AAP

A Spanish man has been arrested in NSW after the seizure of more than 35 kilograms of cocaine labelled as “roasted coffee”, headed for Australia from Colombia.

The packets of cocaine bound for Wollongong as air cargo were allegedly found inside a cardboard box that contained 67 bags of coffee.

In a joint operation between Colombian and Australian police, the cargo was targeted at Bogota Airport late last month.

Colombian authorities seized 35.6 kilograms of cocaine.

On Wednesday, Australian Federal Police arrested a 41-year-old Spanish man in the Wollongong suburb of Port Kembla, where he had been living.

During the search, police allegedly seized 1.84kg of cocaine and located a clandestine laboratory.

The man has been charged with importing a commercial quantity of cocaine, dealing with property suspected of being proceeds of crime, and trafficking.

The maximum penalty is life imprisonment.

AFP Detective Superintendent Craig Bellis said organised crime syndicates continued to target Australia.

“The AFP works closely with its international law enforcement partners to identify and track the movement of illicit drugs bound for Australia because no one nation can tackle the scourge of illicit drugs alone,” Det Supt Bellis said.

“Our priority remains the same - identify and prosecute the organised crime syndicates and individuals involved, and stop the flood of these illicit and harmful drugs from reaching our communities.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails