Malindo Air crew member arrested in Australian drug bust

Clay Curtis
January 17, 2019

It was reported that the cabin crew allegedly carried these drugs on their bodies while flying from Malaysia to Melbourne and Sydney.

Australia Federal Police (AFP) said in a Facebook post on Thursday (Jan 17) that the airline crew member was used to bring in over A$20mil worth of illicit drugs into the country.

Commander Tess Walsh from Victoria Police said the arrests occurred as part of Operation Sunrise, which involved the AFP, Australian Border Force and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission. One of the investigation's "key players" said they had made at least 20 such trips.

Those arrested by police include a 38-year-old woman arrested on January 7 in Tullamarine, and another six people arrested in raids at Sunshine North and inner-city Melbourne a day later.

"(This) has been going on for a long period of time", said Asst.

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. Four women and four men were arrested in Melbourne and charged with drug trafficking.

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

After arresting eight people, including a cabin crew member of Malindo Air, in Melbourne, Australian authorities posted pictures of the seized items on social media.

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"[Operation Sunrise] is a complex, five-month operation targeting an alleged Vietnamese organised crime syndicate based in Melbourne", Commander Walsh said. It was believed responsible for the importation of high-grade heroin and methamphetamine from Malaysia.

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.

"This is a significant seizure", Walsh said, "but I think reality would say that it's not the total amount of drugs that this team have brought into this country".

Luxury cars, $100,000 in cash and drug paraphernalia were also seized.

"They are subject to intervention at the border like everyone else and face significant penalties if they are found to be using their positions to attempt to circumvent our border controls", Mr Palmer added.

Malindo Air, which began flights in 2013, operates out of the Kuala Lumpur suburb of Petaling Jaya and serves several Australian destinations.

Australian police with drugs seized in October previous year.

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