(Photo: Jason Singh Facebook photo)
THREE Canadian nationals and one Dutch citizen have been charged with importing up to 17 kilograms of heroin into Australia, according to a joint press release by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

(The four were later identified in Canadian media as Jason Singh, 21, who is from the Netherlands and reportedly attended Surrey’s Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary, Tyrell Brown, 20, Madison Trim, 19, and a 17-year-old suspect. All are said to be associated with B.C.)

The two men and two women, carrying two bags each, were selected by ACBPS officers for a baggage examination after arriving into Melbourne Airport on a flight from China on November 18.

During the examination ACBPS officers noticed the eight bags felt unusually heavy when emptied. An x-ray of the luggage revealed a white power built into the bottom of each bag.

Initial testing of the powder was positive for heroin. Further testing of the substance will be conducted to confirm exact weights and purities.

The matter was referred to the Australian Federal Police, who later charged a 21-year-old man from the Netherlands, a 20-year-old Canadian man and two Canadian females – aged 19 and 17 – with importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely heroin.

ACBPS Acting National Manager Airport Operations South, Dean Hogarth, said the seizure was a significant one for Melbourne Airport.

“This was a sophisticated operation, involving multiple people and numerous bags,” Hogarth said.

“Despite its sophistication, Customs and Border Protection officers have again stopped a significant amount of heroin reaching our communities.”

AFP Manager Crime Operations, Jennifer Hurst, said: “The AFP will continue to work alongside our domestic and international partner agencies to detect and disrupt illicit drug importations, and our investigations into the circumstances of this venture remain ongoing.”

The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.