Australia, Sydney: Ex-customs officer Christopher Cranney jailed for conspiring to import illegal drug precursor.

A former senior customs officer has been jailed for at least eight years and nine months for his role in a major drug importation conspiracy in which millions of dollars worth of drug precursor was smuggled through Sydney Airport.  In a case that District Court Judge Peter Whitford said pointed to a "disturbing culture" within the Australian Customs Service - now the Australian Border Force - Christopher Phillip Cranney used his senior position to help facilitate the importation of more than 100 kilograms of pseudoephedrine, the precursor to the drug ice.

"Mr Cranney was deliberately and enthusiastically involved in all four importations," Judge Whitford said on Friday.

"He actively abused his senior position within the Australian border security team whose functions included the responsibility to prevent precisely the type of border violations he actively assisted in."

The court heard that the plot involved more than a dozen customs officers and baggage handlers employed at Sydney Airport, as well as a number of drug couriers and those involved in sourcing the drugs from Vietnam. When the couriers brought the pseudoephedrine to Australia in their stowed luggage, the baggage handlers then separated the offending bags and hid them in large luggage containers. They then gave them to one of the customs officers who in turn passed them on to those involved in manufacturing ice. More information available here:

Source: Sydney Morning Herald.

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