A Melbourne man has been jailed for his role in a foiled attempt at helping to smuggle nearly $200 million of ice from China.
A father-son duo tried to smuggle nearly $200 million worth of ice into Melbourne from China but their plan was foiled when they walked straight into a trap laid by police.
Rhys Cini, 30, and his father Patrick collected a truck from a Melbourne shipping port last year before hacking into its tyres which were packed with bags of a crystal substance.
They didn’t know Brisbane customs officers had found the real drugs en route and swapped them with a placebo, the Victorian Supreme Court heard on Friday.
“Over the next two weeks, the AFP conducted physical and electronic surveillance of the truck and those who came in contact with it and its contents,” Justice Michael Croucher said.
Rhys Cini was sentenced to 10 years’ jail on Friday for his role in the scam, but the court heard his father’s business Motek Engineering arranged the truck’s shipment from China.
The methamphetamine weighed about 161 kilograms and had a potential street value between $100 million and $200 million.
Police arrested the pair in October last year, a week after the truck arrived in Melbourne.
The placebo packages had already been moved into several storage units and some were at the Cini’s homes, the court heard.
The court heard Patrick Cini told police he helped unpack the stash because “panic set in” when his son told him the substance was “crystal meth”.
But Justice Croucher found Cini Snr was more involved in importing the truck than his son.
He said Rhys Cini’s role in moving the packages could have landed them in the hands of dealers, but he had shown remorse and had good chance of rehabilitation.
Rhys Cini, who pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported border controlled drug, will be eligible for parole after serving six years.