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Man accused of importing drug haul nabbed at airport

A 42-year-old man is accused of importing cocaine and methamphetamine into Australia more than a decade ago, hidden inside a plane's fuselage.

AFP officers arrested the Australian man at Sydney Airport on March 4 after he arrived on a flight from South-East Asia, where he is believed to have been living since August 2012.

He has been charged with two drug importation offences and will face Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday, the AFP said.

An arrest warrant was issued for the man in 2013 during Operation Hayman, a joint investigation between the AFP, NSW Police, Australian Border Force and Hong Kong Customs and Excise.

The investigation focused on border-controlled drug imports by trusted insiders employed by a commercial airline at Sydney International Airport.

It revealed an airline trusted insider used his position to access illicit drugs, which were concealed by couriers within panelling on planes arriving from Hong Kong.

The insider and two other men have since been convicted and sentenced for importing one kilogram of cocaine and 5kg of methamphetamine on a flight from Hong Kong to Sydney in July 2012.

The AFP will allege the latest man arrested stored the cocaine and methamphetamine in a safe house in Hong Kong, before working with a courier to transport the drugs to Australia in 2012.

He allegedly secreted the drugs inside the fuselage of a plane bound for Sydney.

When the plane arrived in Sydney, the trusted insider - one of three men since convicted and sentenced as part of Operation Hayman - removed the concealed drugs and drove them out of the airside secure area to his car.

He was then arrested in the airport car park and investigators also seized $1.6 million during the bust.

AFP Detective Superintendent Morgen Blunden warned drug importers they could not avoid prosecution by hiding out overseas.

"The AFP is on constant alert for anyone with an outstanding arrest warrant attempting to re-enter the country," Supt Blunden said.

"They might think that we will forget about their alleged crimes if they stay away long enough, but they are wrong."

The man faced Parramatta Local Court on March 5 and was remanded in custody to re-appear in Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday.