Malindo crew nabbed for smuggling RM2.95 million drugs into Australia

Malaysia's Malindo Air crew in $20 million drug smuggling syndicate, say Australian police

At a press conference, Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Tess Walsh said, the suspects were part of a "highly organized" Vietnamese syndicate moving drugs from Malaysia into Australia.

The cabin crew of Malindo Air has been accused of helping to smuggle millions of dollars worth of heroin and methamphetamine from Asia to Australia as part of a multinational syndicate.

Cabin crew of global airline Malindo Air have been accused of being members of a smuggling syndicate bringing illegal drugs from Malaysia to Australia, it was reported on Wednesday (Jan 16).

Over the past eight days, seven properties across Richmond, Southbank, Abbotsford, Sunshine North and Melbourne were raided by police.

The company said it only learned through media reports that the employee "was arrested for allegedly being part of an worldwide drug syndicate which used various airlines' cabin crews for smuggling drugs into Australia".

She said the syndicate had been operating for at least five years and the complex investigation was continuing.

It added that it has yet to have "any official communication" with its staff or the Australian police on the detention, and has raised the matter with the Malaysian Consul General's office in Melbourne.

"I think there's two of the current eight that have been charged that have been confirmed cabin crew", Walsh said.

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CNN requested further information from the airline regarding the alleged involvement of a second member of the company's flight team.

"Intelligence would tell us that this crew has been operating for some years, I would say five plus", Walsh said.

The seized heroin amounted to a street value of A$14.5mil, while the methamphetamine had a street value of A$6.4mil, it said.

"Malindo Air stands ready to co-operate with all the relevant authorities be it in Australia or in Malaysia in this regard", the airline said.

The quantity of illegal drugs seized in the operation is significant but "not the total amount of drugs" alleged to have been imported, according to Walsh.

"None of the remaining Malindo Air's crew on the said flight were detained", it added.

Australian Border Force Regional Commander Victoria, Craig Palmer, said any attempt to bring drugs into the country would be met with the full force of Australian border and law enforcement agencies - before, at and after the border.

Lion Air made headlines late previous year when its 737 MAX-8 aircraft crashed into the sea off Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board.

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