Australian authorities investigating fake UN drug mule scam

CANBERRA (Bernama-Xinhua): The Australian Federal Police (AFP) have issued a warning over an emerging scam involving transporting illicit drugs for traffickers claiming to be from the United Nations (UN).

In a statement issued on Monday from its national headquarters in Canberra, the AFP said it is investigating the fake UN drug mule scam after its officers arrested two passengers in separate incidents at the Melbourne international airport in July.

The first passenger, a 39-year-old West Australian who arrived in Melbourne from Singapore on July 25, was arrested after AFP officers examined his luggage and allegedly found 3 kg of methamphetamine concealed in the lining.

The next day, a 77-year-old New Zealand national was arrested on arrival from Thailand after officers allegedly found 2 kg of heroin in his luggage.

According to the AFP, both travellers, who are unknown to each other, said they were offered up to 35 million Australian dollars (US$22.9 million) to transport a suitcase into Australia on behalf of an individual claiming to work for the UN.

"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," AFP Commander Reagan Stewart said in the statement.

Both of the arrested were charged with serious drug import offences carrying maximum penalties of life imprisonment. - Bernama-Xinhua

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