Two meth plotters will learn their fate as they face sentencing for importing almost 500kg of drugs into Australia within Asian noodle pots and spices.
Two meth plotters will learn their fate as they face sentencing for importing almost 500kg of drugs into Australia within Asian noodle pots and spices.

Hot pot meth plotters face sentencing

Half-tone of methamphetamine had just slipped through customs, unnoticed in boxes of Asian noodles and spices, and two of Sydney's would-be drug kingpins would only have to wait a few days for it to be delivered to their door.

But as Van Chung Tran looked up from his ute, loaded with Mi Goreng and what he thought was meth, he locked eyes with an Australian Federal Police surveillance camera.

The multimillion-dollar hot pot plot was already cooked.

The two men are set to be sentenced tomorrow. Picture: Australian Federal Police
The two men are set to be sentenced tomorrow. Picture: Australian Federal Police

Van and his co-conspirator, Stephen Tran who is of no relation, had imported the noodles and spices from California in mid-2018, the AFP said at the time.

The noodles were flown to Sydney in late July where Australian Border Force agents inspected the shipment and found white crystals.

Pictures of the haul show boxes of "mushroom seasoning" and Indo Mi spicy Mi Goreng noodles - a staple of Australia's university students.

Over the following week the would-be kingpins sat and waited for customs to clear their consignment.

It looked to be going smoothly on August 9 when the noodles and seasoning were delivered straight to Stephen's home.

The two men smuggled meth in noddle packets. Picture: Australian Federal Police
The two men smuggled meth in noddle packets. Picture: Australian Federal Police

The pair thought they were sitting on millions of dollars of product - but all they had were 50 cent packets of noodles.

Van was loading up a ute with the boxes and slung a net over the top when an agent snapped his picture with a long lens.

He appeared to be staring straight down the barrel, but didn't seem to notice.

He moved the product to a Bonnyrigg home when the AFP swooped and began searching.

Officers from Operation Geonosis nabbed Stephen at the Canley Vale home as two more properties were searched.

Stephen pleaded guilty to attempting to possess a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs.

Van pleaded guilty to attempting to possess a commercial quantity of drugs suspected of being unlawfully imported.

The AFP initially thought they'd netted up to 300 kilograms of the drug in the shipment.

But final testing put that number at 495kg, The Daily Telegraph understands.

Each kilogram would fetch $1000 on the street, authorities say.

On Friday, after more than two years in custody, the pair will learn their fate when Judge Peter Whitford SC sentences them at Sydney's Downing Centre District Court.

They face a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Originally published as Hot pot meth plot: drug plotters face sentencing

The pair face a maximum of life in prison. Picture: Australian Federal Police
The pair face a maximum of life in prison. Picture: Australian Federal Police

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