Courier busted with $17m drugs in suitcase

 

A courier who wheeled a suitcase packed with an estimated $17 million of heroin and methylamphetamine from Malaysia has been jailed for six years in what a judge has labelled an "extraordinary case".

James Patrick Dyson, 36, was facing the possibility of life in jail after he was stopped by Australian Border Force officers at Brisbane International Airport after arriving from Kuala Lumpur on April 10 last year.

Concealed in the Victorian man's suitcase was 11kg of heroin and 2.4kg of pure methylamphetamine "very crudely disguised" in tea tins, the Brisbane Supreme Court was told yesterday.

 

The drug-filled suitcase James Patrick Dyson wheeled into Brisbane airport last year. Source: AFP
The drug-filled suitcase James Patrick Dyson wheeled into Brisbane airport last year. Source: AFP

 

The Australian Federal Police confirmed to Quest that the estimated street value of the heroin was between $6.78 and $13.56m the ice would have fetched between $1 and $3.33m.

Justice Jean Dalton said the case was extraordinary because of the way Dyson was "importuned" by two men who took advantage of his impaired intellectual functioning.

The Supreme court was told that Dyson was living in Melbourne with his girlfriend when he was befriended by two Australian-Malaysian men who asked him to travel overseas to visit their sick mother.

The men organised his flights, accommodation in Kuala Lumpur and even a passport for Dyson who had never been in a plane before last year.

When Dyson arrived in Malaysia, he was taken to a hotel by two men who said his friends' mother was fine but they needed him to take a locked suitcase back to Australia.

"You understood it likely had drugs in it and a lot of drugs," Justice Dalton told Dyson yesterday.

"But you were frightened about what would happen to you if you said no."

Australian Federal Police arrested Dyson after border force officers found the stash of drugs and he was remanded in custody until his sentence hearing in Brisbane court yesterday morning.

Justice Dalton said while Dyson understood he was importing drugs illegally, she believed his low IQ made him "very very vulnerable indeed".

Dyson was sentenced to six years' jail and will be eligible for parole immediately after serving almost 20 months in custody.

At the time of his arrest, AFP Brisbane Airport Police Commander Murray Ferguson said it was a "significant seizure" and investigators were working with Royal Malaysia Police to identify the source of the syndicate behind the importation.

In a statement issued yesterday, a spokesman for the AFP said: "Investigations into the source of the drugs and those involved remains ongoing".

Originally published as Courier busted with $17m drugs in suitcase


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