Australian police have uncovered a massive haul of the illegal drug “ice” at a Sydney port, worth A$1.6 billion (US$1.1 billion) on the street, the most significant detection of its kind in the country.
Australian Border Police in July examined a number of sea cargo containers that arrived at Port Botany in Sydney.
They found 750 kilos of methylamphetamine concealed within the marble stone.
Last week, specialist officers homed in on an additional number of containers at Port Botany and found a further 1,060 kg of meth concealed in the same marble stone method.
In total, more than 1,800kg of “ice,” which has an estimated potential street value of more than $1.6 billion, has been seized during the investigation.
State Crime Command Acting Director of Operations, Detective Chief Superintendent John Watson, said in a press release the fact that police have seized a further tonne of the drug just “shows how little regard these types of groups have for the wellbeing of the community.”
He told reporters on Aug. 26 that the “insidious drug” “rips apart people’s lives, families and local communities.”
“This type of amount has the potential to absolutely devastate rural or regional areas, and it has the potential to be distributed right across our nation.”
ABF Assistant Commissioner East, Erin Dale, noted it is the first time authorities have discovered drugs contained in a marble stone shipment.
“Our officers are highly trained and continue to demonstrate their skills when it comes to detecting the importation of illicit drugs, no matter what method of concealment the organised crime groups use,” Dale added.
“The audacity of these individuals to think they could import such vast quantities of harmful drugs into Australia is astounding. Let’s be clear: this is the largest seizure of methylamphetamine at the Australian border and therefore a massive blow to organised criminals.”
No one has been charged over the latest shipment, although police believe an international drug syndicate is behind it and that the drugs could have come from the Middle East.
“What we’re seeing now is the syndicate that was operating locally on our shores, they had international connections, so we’re looking well to that,” Watson said.