Fijian man charged with 'smuggling $17.5million of cocaine into Australia

A Fijian man who allegedly tried to smuggle 50kg of cocaine hidden in a shipment of bottled water has been charged with importing commercial quantities of the drug.

John Kaurasi, 29, prepared the $17.5million shipment for export from Fiji before travelling to Australia to collect it, police allege.

The package arrived on August 10 and was referred to the Australian Federal Police.

Officers from the Australian Border Force allegedly discovered the cocaine at an inspection facility in Sydney.

The Daily Mail reports Kaurasi was arrested on Friday, following a search on a Hurstville property.

He was later charged with importing a commercial quantity of border-controlled drugs.

Kaurasi did not apply for bail at Parramatta Court today, meaning he will stay behind bars until he faces court again on Wednesday.

AFP investigators are still working to identify the drug's intended recipients 

The ABF credited recently upgraded x-ray technology for helping its officers discover the shipment. 

Regional commander Danielle Yannopoulos said: 'Unfortunately, criminals use all sorts of concealment methods to try and beat our border processes.'

'Using a mix of intelligence and our recently upgraded x-ray technology, we are capable of detecting drugs before they can make it into the Australian community.

'We hope it sends a message that, if you're thinking of importing illicit drugs to Australia, it's simply not worth the risk. We will catch you eventually.'