Three accused drug traffickers attempted to smuggle $15.5 million worth of heroin from Vietnam to Brisbane where they intended to pack the drug inside the door panels of a rented station wagon and drive it to Victoria.
Their plan was ultimately foiled by customs officers but the details of their operation have been revealed in court documents.
On a Tuesday morning in November last year a cargo ship from Vietnam with more than 58 kilograms of heroin on board arrived at the Port of Brisbane.
The drug was packed inside 78 packages of white packages hidden in the bases of two ornate, wooden church altars.
Combined the packages contained about 36 kilograms of pure heroin with a street value of $15.5 million.
Customs officers replaced the heroin packages with harmless white powder and watched as the consignment was collected by a courier truck and delivered to a suburban address in Robertson, in Brisbane's south.
From there, the furniture was loaded into a trailer and driven to another property in Munruben, about 40 kilometres south of the city.
Inside a padlocked garage on the property, three Brisbane men - Lam Hoang Tran, 21; Duy Hoa Pham, 32; and Tam Minh Dang, 47 - then set about smashing open the wooden altars.
Unbeknownst to them, Australian Federal Police had arrived at the scene.
The men were allegedly sprung inside the shed surrounded by shattered pieces of furniture and a number of white powder packages.
A heat seal press and a quantity of plastic heat sealed bags were nearby.
Also in the garage was a hired station wagon with Victorian registration plates. The car had been hired the day before the shipping container arrived in Brisbane for a period of 30 days.
The door trims inside the car had been removed. It's alleged the men planned to plant the drugs inside the door panels.
The details of the drug bust were revealed this month in a judgment published by Queensland Court of Appeal Justice Glen Martin.
The Director of Public Prosecutions had sought to revoke Mr Dang's bail but was not successful.
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