Record $1.1 billion haul of meth seized — Analysis
It was hidden in large slabs made of marble and transported from the Middle East into Australia.
Australian police announced the country’s largest-ever seizure of methamphetamine, worth more than AU$1.6 billion (some US$1.1 billion) on Friday. Two metric tons were hidden in marble slabs that had been shipped from the Middle East to the continent.
Officers from the Australian Border Force discovered the first half of the haul (around 748 kg) in Port Botany. This is a suburb to the east of Sydney. According to police, three people were arrested after the discovery.
AFB conducted additional inspections on an additional set of containers, which were brought to Port Botany by AFB last week. AFB discovered more marble tiles. It was discovered that the consignment had an additional 1060 kilograms meth. This brought the total amount of meth seized up to 1.8 million tons. According to police, there have not been any arrests nor charges brought against anyone in connection to this new find.
Australian investigators now seek to identify overseas suppliers in order to trace the drug deliveries. “We are likely to focus on the Middle Eastern region. But I certainly wouldn’t restrict our investigation to just that region,” Police Detective Chief Supt. John Watson stated this to the local media.
Watson explained that the entire shipment of containers containing meth-laced marble tiles was intended for a factory located in Western Sydney. It is believed the factory was set up to rapidly extract the drug from the slabs. He said the police did not know how many times that factory was being used.
“Combined with the seizure from earlier this month, NSW Police and ABF officers have stopped more than 1.8 tonnes of ‘ice’ at the border – this is now the largest ‘ice’ bust in Australian history,” Watson stated this in separate statements.
In 2019, Melbourne seized 1.6 million metric tons of methamphetamines. The drug was hidden in speakers imported from Thailand and found inside the speakers.
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