Australian police seize $900M in methylamphetamine
The Associated Press
Published Monday, February 15, 2016 1:19AM EST
Last Updated Monday, February 15, 2016 2:20AM EST
SYDNEY, Australia - Australian law enforcement agencies discovered 1.26 billion Australian dollars ($900 million) worth of methylamphetamine hidden in imported boxes of silicon bra inserts and art supplies in the country's largest haul of the illicit drug in its liquid form, officials said Monday.
Four Hong Kong passport holders were arrested in Sydney last month over the import from China of 720 litres of the drug, commonly known in Australia as ice, police said in a statement.
The liquid could have made about 500 kilograms of high-grade crystal meth, Australian Federal Police Commander Chris Sheehan said.
Officials also seized 2 kilograms of the crystalized form of the drug.
Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the operation used information gathered through new co-operation between Australian Federal Police and China's National Narcotics Control Commission. The Australian and Chinese agencies established a joint task force in November to investigate criminal syndicates trafficking methamphetamine.
"This largest seizure of liquid methylamphetamine to date is the result of organized criminals targeting the lucrative Australian ice market from offshore," Keenan told reporters.
The four will appear in a Sydney court next month charged with importing and manufacturing commercial quantities of illegal drugs. Each suspect faces a potential life sentence if convicted.
Keenan said the seizure was one the largest hauls of illicit drugs in Australian history.