$34m cocaine stash found in NSW shipment

A 45-year-old South African man will face court in Sydney over a $34 million cocaine shipment.
A 45-year-old South African man will face court in Sydney over a $34 million cocaine shipment.

Blocks of cocaine branded with images of Che Guevera and hidden in a shipment of furniture have been discovered in Sydney.

The drug stash - weighing 68kg with an estimated $34 million value - was neatly stowed inside the base of a wooden pallet carrying tables and chairs that arrived from South Africa on April 8.

Paul Finlayson, a South African man, was arrested outside a factory in Campbelltown on Tuesday after trying to access the cocaine in the shipment.

Police said the syndicate behind it was "relatively new" to them and the factory where the drugs were destined may have received similar shipments.

"We have evidence he was coming in and out of the country ... from 2016," Detective Chief Inspector Damian Beaufils told reporters on Wednesday.

"We're not sure whether there were previous imports. There were a number crates at the factory site."

Det Insp Beaufills said pasting images of South American Marxist icon and guerrilla leader Che Guevera to some of the cocaine blocks was a marketing tool.

"They can print anything on it that makes it look better or worse than it is."

Border Force superintendent Garry Low said the concealment was sophisticated, with a lot more workmanship going into the wooden crates than the furniture inside.

"South Africa is not known for cocaine manufacturing so that forms part of our investigation," he told reporters.

Finlayson, 45, was denied bail at Campbelltown Local Court on charges of commercial drug importation and possession on Wednesday.

He is expected before Central Local Court on Friday.

Further arrests are expected.

Australian Associated Press