Sydney, Nov. 19, (dpa/GNA) - Two Sydney men were arrested in connection to a major seizure of heroin in Thailand, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said late on Thursday.
The AFP said the two men, including a 38-year-old alleged to be one of Australia's "most significant organised crime threats," conspired to import some 314 kilograms of heroin from Thailand to Australia.
According to police, they used closed encrypted platforms including AN0M, a service covertly operated by FBI agents.
Both men were charged on Thursday night after search warrants were executed at homes in Western Sydney.
Police will argue in court that evidence collected during the searches shows the two men were behind a plan to import the heroin from Thailand.
The Thailand Customs Authority found the drugs concealed in paint drums on July 5 while examining an outgoing sea cargo container destined for Queensland.
The AFP said in a statement that the seized heroin has an estimated street value of 117 million Australian dollars (85 million US dollars).
"It will be alleged that a thorough examination of communications on encrypted devices used by the men over the past eight months allowed AFP investigators to confirm their real identities and link them to criminal offences associated with the attempted importation," the statement said.
"Transnational serious organised crime continues to attempt to send heroin through our borders to make money off the misery they peddle," said AFP acting Assistant Commissioner Kirsty Schofield.