Australia, US seize largest ever meth shipment


The bust, which was both the biggest-ever domestic drug seizure in the USA and the biggest shipment bound for Australia, also netted four people in Melbourne.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the seizure Thursday, saying a January 11 search turned up more than 3,800 pounds of meth, 56 pounds of cocaine and 11 pounds of heroin.

The drugs were hidden in metal boxes labelled as loudspeakers.

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.

The Australian Federal Police said that a joint investigation led the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement to uncover 1.7 tonnes of drugs in California last month.

The six people arrested in Australia on Thursday and Friday were tied to a USA based syndicate under investigation over the drugs, police said.

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

Two of the individuals arrested in connection with the crime are confirmed to be Americans, and are now facing charges of attempting to import illegal drugs.

Hill said that the quantity of drugs that were intercepted proved that Australia is being targeted by Mexican drug cartels.

"The cartel is among one of the most powerful and violent drug trafficking syndicates in the world".

"This is the biggest ever seizure of methamphetamine. stopped before it had a chance to reach Australian streets", said AFP Asst.

A white van was also searched and towed from the scene.

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

The other four arrested suspects were identified as a 31-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman from another Melbourne suburb, Keilor Downs, where police recovered approximately 6.5 kilograms (14 pounds) of meth; a 31-year-old man from the Sydney suburb of Hinchinbrook, where police recovered approximately 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds of cocaine); and a 25-year-old man from another Sydney suburb, Bonnyrigg Heights.

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