30 March 2020, Monday | 11:21pm

Australia seizes A$1.26bn of methylamphetamine


Australian law enforcement agencies have discovered A$1.26bn of methylamphetamine hidden in imported boxes of silicon bra inserts and art supplies. It is the country’s largest haul of the illicit drug in its liquid form, officials said.

Four Hong Kong passport holders were arrested in Sydney last month for the importation, from China, of 720l of the drug, which is commonly known in Australia as ice, police said.

The liquid could have made 500kg of high-grade crystal meth, Australian Federal Police commander, Chris Sheehan, said. Officials also seized 2kg of the crystalised 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 meth.

“This largest seizure of liquid methylamphetamine, to date, is the result of organised criminals targeting the lucrative Australian ice market from offshore,” Mr 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.

Mr Keenan said the seizure was one of the largest hauls of illicit drugs in Australian history.

The bust was part of a rare, joint operation between the Australian Federal Police and the Chinese National Narcotics Control Commission — the first combined effort targeting the booming ice market.

The two sides are co-operating to gather intelligence relating to concealment methods, trafficking routes, and syndicates that move meth from southeast China into Australia.


Source/Images: Irish Examiner/bit.ly/1KSVEoW

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