Record US meth haul intercepted by Australian authorities

Feb 09, 2019, 00:40
Record US meth haul intercepted by Australian authorities

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said 1,728 kilograms (3,800 pounds) of the drug were seized in mid-January at the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex along with smaller amounts of cocaine and heroin.

Photos released by police showed the drugs hidden inside electronic equipment and loaded onto wooden pallets.

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

Australian Federal Police (AFP) say they were found with "hundreds of thousands of dollars of proceeds of crime" during a raid in Melbourne.

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The drugs were seized by Californian police before they could reach Australian shores. Two of those arrested are Americans.

In a statement Thursday, Customs and Border Protection officials confirmed almost two tons of meth were confiscated in Los Angeles last month as it was bound for Australia.

Another 25 kilograms of cocaine, worth about $9.5 million, and 5kg of heroin valued at $2.6 million, was also uncovered in the shipment of 850 vehicle audio parts.

Police were alerted to the alleged drug syndicate's enormous planned import when a country policeman in regional Victoria pulled over a driver and found a small amount of drugs in the vehicle. "This is now flagging intent Australia is now being targeted", he said.

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Three fronted court on Friday on charges including attempted drug importation and possession. We now believe that Mexican cartels are actively targeting Australia'.

"We've got money, and we're willing to pay more for our drugs than anywhere else in the world".

Police believe the Mexican cartel has links to Australian-based outlaw bikie gangs but would not give further detail.

Jason Halls, Victoria manager for the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, said the drugs would have had an "immeasurable" impact on the Australian community.

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