Australia and US seize largest ever meth shipment

Erika Holt
February 9, 2019

USA authorities said the illicit cargo - with a street value of AUS$1.29 billion, or US$900 million - was hidden in two shipping containers carrying audio equipment bound for Australia.

More than 1.7 tons of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin were discovered on January 11 concealed within a shipment of loud speakers on a ship at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport.

After a series of raids this month, two United States nationals and four Australians were arrested this week in the Melbourne and Sydney areas.

Photos released by police showed the drugs hidden inside electronic equipment and loaded onto wooden pallets. The shipment also included 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of cocaine and five kilograms (11 pounds) of heroin.

If it had made it to Australian streets, it's estimated to be worth approximately $1.29 billion dollars and equates to some 17 million hits.

Australian police have arrested six people in Victoria and New South Wales after the biggest seizure of crystal methamphetamine in USA history.

"The JOCTF investigation demonstrated the effectiveness of Australian and worldwide authorities working together to stamp out illicit drug importation, and I wish to thank our USA counterparts for their expert involvement in this investigation".

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"By stopping this, we have ensured criminals will not profit from the enormous pain these drugs would have caused our community", said Bruce Hill, a spokesman for the Australian Federal Police organized crime unit.

"They have been sending smaller amounts over the years". This is now flagging the intent Australia is now being targeted.

"We've got money, and we're willing to pay more for our drugs than anywhere else in the world". Two of those arrested are Americans: a 52-year-old man and a 46-year-old woman.

Three of the people arrested will face Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday. Commissioner Bruce Hill. "By stopping this, we have ensured criminals will not profit from the huge pain these drugs would have caused our community". Luckily we worked with our USA buddies and were able to stop the shipment before it reached our shores.

The operation also involved raids in British Columbia on Thursday by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which resulted in the seizure of "a significant quantity" of suspected proceeds of crime, police said.

According to authorities in the Australian state of Victoria, around 2 tons of meth is consumed in the state every year.

The previous record for an Australia-bound crystal meth seizure was 1,300 kg in 2017.

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