John Tambakakis, 35, and Danny Awad, 41, have been sentenced to a minimum of 10 years behind bars by the Victorian County Court.

Judge Mark Dean said, “You will each be sentenced on the basis that you were senior members of a criminal organisation engaged in a crime of the utmost seriousness for profit.”

The pair were found guilty by a jury in September for possessing a commercial quantity of cocaine. The duo were alleged for plans to traffic it though they had not been involved in importing the haul.

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The Australian Federal Police had intercepted the shipment which had a street value from around $9.3 to $12.4 million when it arrived from Mexico to Melbourne. Authorities had substituted the cocaine with harmless powder which the pair took to a warehouse rented under a fake name at Airport West. They were arrested the next day.