AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST EVER METH BUST
HOW WAS IT DISCOVERED?
* January – AFP tips off Victoria Police about a drug syndicate in Melbourne’s east.
* Weeks later – 40kg of ice, 175,000 cigarettes, $140,000 in cash and other contraband uncovered when police raid 12 properties in Blackburn North, Blackburn South, Box Hill North and Doncaster.
* February 2 and 3 – Two men, believed to be Australian-born, are arrested.
* February 6 – AFP raids a warehouse in Norcal Rd, Nunawading and finds 70 boxes of floorboards. About two kilograms of crystal methamphetamine was found inside each floorboard. A further $5 million worth of cash, vehicles and property was seized as suspected proceeds of crime.
WHO HAS BEEN CHARGED?
Blackburn man, 53, and a Doncaster man, 36, have been charged with drug trafficking. They face life in jail if convicted. Police say they are “significant players”.
HOW DID THE DRUGS GET HERE?
Police won’t reveal which Asian country the drugs came from, but do say the floorboards came through the Port of Melbourne.
WHAT THEY SAID?
“This is money that hasn’t gone into the pockets of organised criminals and, of course, it means this is an enormous number of hits of ice that have been taken off our streets.” – Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan
“As you can see, a fairly sophisticated concealment methodology where organised crime groups are going to great lengths to try and thwart the activities of law enforcement.” – Australian Federal Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Neil Gaughan
HOW DOES THIS COMPARE TO PREVIOUS HAULS?
It’s the biggest haul of ice ever seized in Australia, according to the AFP.
Previous large seizures include:
– November 2014: 849kg seized in NSW, along with almost two tonnes of MDMA.
– February 2015: 720 litres of liquid meth found in gel push-up bras, paint bottles and art sets in Sydney.
– March 2017: 300kg found inside metal gates in Melbourne.
WHERE TO FROM HERE?
The two men charged are expected to reappear in court in June.
Police have released images of two more men, in their 30s, thought to be involved.