Underbelly child actor allegedly nabbed with 112kg of methamphetamines

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A Sydney actor who appeared in a Hollywood movie and several prominent Australian TV shows has been charged over the alleged importation of 112 kilograms of methamphetamines to Melbourne.

In a case of fiction turned reality, the former Underbelly actor is alleged to have been a player in the trafficking of a container full of the highly addictive drug into Australia from China.

AFP officers arresting Jarin Towney in connection to the shipment.

Police allege the illegal cargo was hidden among commercial machinery and sent to Melbourne’s docks, where it was collected by a logistics company and taken to a factory in New South Wales.

Officers surveilled the shipment until Wednesday when they raided a factory in Yagoona, in Sydney’s west, and arrested 24-year-old Jarin Towney.

Inside the factory, investigators found several tightly bound packages of meth, a disused clandestine lab and equipment suspected of being used to manufacture drugs.

Former child actor Jarin Towney at a red carpet event in 2015.Credit: Getty

Police also raided Towney’s home in Surry Hills where they allegedly uncovered a small quantity of drugs.

Towney, a former child actor who appeared in the popular TV shows Packed to the Rafters and Underbelly, has since been charged with possessing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug.

The 24-year-old got his Hollywood break in 2016 when he appeared in the movie Hacksaw Ridge, a biographical war film directed by Mel Gibson about the experience of American combat medic Desmond Doss, who refused to bear arms for religious reasons in World War II.

Investigations remain ongoing and further charges and arrests are expected in connection to the importation.

AFP Detective Superintendent Anthony Hall said the amount of meth seized by officers was equivalent to approximately 1 million individual hits of the highly addictive synthetic drug.

Alleged meth shipment intercepted by federal officers in NSW.

“Every single one of those hits had the potential to cause death or serious harm, not to mention
significant healthcare system costs and devastating impacts on families affected by illicit drug
use,” Hall said.

“Methamphetamine is a horrific drug that is highly addictive and has been linked to some of the
most heart-breaking crimes across the country.”

Data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that on average, 33 people were hospitalised every day in Australia for methamphetamine-related incidents in 2020-21.

Australian Border Force commander Clint Sims said the agency had detected enormous amounts of drugs at the border since the start of the year.

“These substances cause real harm to people and that’s why ABF officers dedicate themselves to
maintaining the integrity of the border and creating a hostile environment for criminals,” Sims said.

Towney was expected to appear in Downing Local Court on Thursday morning.

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