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AFP Identifies Drug Mule Trend Where Criminals Pretend To Be UN Officials

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has identified a drug mule trend where travellers are offered millions of dollars to transport drugs by criminals pretending to be United Nations (UN) officials.

It comes after two separate incidents were travellers were caught with drugs in Melbourne this year, both claiming to have been victim of the UN official scam.

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It’s understood the alleged drug couriers were offered up to $35 million to transport a suitcase in Australia on behalf of an official claiming to be from the UN.

In July this year, the trend was first discovered after the Australian Border Force conducted two separate baggage searches at Melbourne International Airport.

Officers allegedly identified 3kg of methamphetamine concealed in the lining of a suitcase being transported by a 39-year-old West Australian man returning to Melbourne from Singapore.

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Within two days, a 77-year-old New Zealand national travelling from Thailand was allegedly detected with 2kg of heroin inside their luggage.

The two men were unknown to each other, but both alleged they had been asked to transport the drugs in exchange for a large sum of money by people claiming to work for the UN.

AFP Commander Raegan Stewart said transnational serious organised crime syndicates continued to target Australia as a lucrative market for illicit drugs.

“This United Nations drug mule scam is just another attempt by criminal syndicates who are desperate to import harmful illicit drugs and substances into our country,” he said.

“It shows offenders will go to any lengths to bring illicit substances into our community, including scamming travellers offshore to do their dirty work.”

Anyone with information relating to drug mules or the fake UN official scam can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au.

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