An alleged drug smuggler is accused of attempting to run more than $14 million worth of heroin into Australia secreted in a toy truck.
The 21-year-old man from Laos was arrested after border officials discovered more than 35kg of heroin concealed in the blue and red model truck which had been shipped from Thailand.
The haul is estimated by the Australian Federal Police to have a street value of more than $14 million.
The drugs were discovered inside a hidden compartment by Australian Border Force officials after the truck arrived at Port Botany in Sydney on March 16.
Officers switched out the drugs and delivered the consignment to an apartment building at Haymarket in inner Sydney.
The man was arrested when he accepted the delivery and charged with importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug.
If found guilty he faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and is due to face court in May.
The AFP also searched a second address linked to the man.
“There is typically an organised crime syndicate behind such importations because of the complexities in sourcing the heroin, the costs in sending it to Australia and the connections needed to sell it once onshore,” AFP Sergeant Alex Drummond said.
“The AFP is working closely with its international law enforcement partners in Thailand and Laos to trace the origins of the heroin and identify other members of the syndicate behind this importation.”