Aus police make largest-ever drug seizure at Sydney port

The shipment first arrived in Sydney's Port Botany in a shipping container from Canada last month and the police initially uncovered 748 kg drugs concealed in a shipment marble stone
Representative image
Representative image

SYDNEY: Police in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) on Friday announced of making the country's largest-ever drug bust, seizing over 1,800 kg illegal drug methylamphetamine, or "ice".

The shipment first arrived in Sydney's Port Botany in a shipping container from Canada last month and the police initially uncovered 748 kg drugs concealed in a shipment marble stone, reports Xinhua news agency.

On Friday, they announced a further 1,060 kg concealed in the same way.

The additional bust made it the single largest seizure of illicit drugs at the nation's borders.

The total haul would have had an estimated street value of A$1.8 billion.

Police investigators have thus far made three arrests of men in their 20s but said the operation is likely connected to a larger syndicate of organized crime.

State Crime Command acting director of operations, Detective Chief Superintendent John Watson said as the investigation continues further arrests had not been ruled out.

"We will allege this syndicate was extremely well connected in several corners of the globe," Watson said in a statement on Friday.

"The fact that we have seized a further ton -- potentially 10 million street deals -- of this insidious drug just shows how little regard these types of groups have for the well-being of the community."

A 2020 report from the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) found that during the Covid-19 pandemic, border closures greatly restricted the availability of illegal drugs, suggesting that the country's border reopening may have prompted an inflow to meet pent-up demand.

Erin Dale, Australian Border Force (ABF) assistant commissioner east, said the seizure would deal a "massive blow" to organised crime.

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