Police seize $1.29 billion of ice bound for Australia
- Author: Jon Douglas Feb 09, 2019,
Feb 09, 2019, 0:44
It is the single largest seizure of methamphetamine heading Down Under and the largest domestic bust of the drug on USA soil.
Around 1.7 tons of meth was seized in California on January 9 by USA authorities, along with smaller amounts of cocaine and heroin, police said.
Victoria state - Australia's second-most populous - consumes more than two tonnes of crystal meth every year, according to government figures.
Police also found 25 kilograms of cocaine, worth $9.5 million, and five kilograms of heroin, worth $2.6 million, in the same shipment as the methylamphetamine.
Police said the drugs could have led to more than 17 million drug deals.
Two U.S. citizens and four Australian citizens were arrested as part of the bust.
The people arrested allegedly have connections with a California-based organised crime syndicate.
"Australian partnership is in protecting Americans and Australians alike", acting U.S. Ambassador to Australia James Carouso said in a statement. They've been sending smaller amounts over the years.
Police said some members of the group are Australian nationals with Vietnamese backgrounds.
It was reported to the federal authorities, who established a link between Australian bikie gangs and Mexican cartels.
"This cartel is among one of the most powerful and violent drug trafficking syndicates in the world".
Police said that three of those arrested would appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday, charged with attempting to import illegal drugs. Luckily we worked with our United States buddies and were able to stop the shipment before it reached our shores. They were not identified except as a 52-year-old man and a 46-year-old woman.
"By stopping this, we have ensured criminals will not profit from the enormous pain these drugs would have caused our community", AFP Assistant Commissioner Bruce Hill told reporters.
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.