Authorities make largest ever onshore ice seizure

Australian authorities have seized the country’s largest ever onshore methylamphetamine (ice) consignment, after Australian Border Force (ABF) officers in Melbourne detected almost 1.6 tonnes of the illicit drugs – equal to almost 16 million drug deals – in stereo speakers originating from Bangkok, Thailand.

In a recent ABF targeting operation, officers selected a sea cargo consignment for further inspection at the Melbourne Container Examination Facility.  An x-ray revealed anomalies within the speakers and when they were deconstructed, ABF officers found vacuum-sealed packages containing the drugs.

In total, 1.596 tonnes of methylamphetamine and 37kgs of heroin were detected with an estimated street value of $1.197b and $18.5m respectively.

There have been no arrests and ABF and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) are continuing investigations.

ABF Regional Commander Victoria, Craig Palmer, said the record detection would have a significant impact on drug supply in the state.

“Without the sophisticated targeting and detection capabilities of the ABF, these drugs would have made it to the streets of Melbourne and beyond,” Commander Palmer said.

“This is the largest meth bust we’ve ever seen in this country and demonstrates not only the brazen nature of those involved in this criminal activity, but the resolve of the ABF in Victoria and around the country to stop these imports.”

“Last financial year the ABF made 43,000 detections of illicit drugs weighing more than 11.8 tonnes – so this seizure is equal to more than 13% of the total drugs we seized last financial year.”

AFP Acting Commander Peter Bodel, Organised Crime, said the seizure has stopped almost 1.6 tonnes of insidious drugs from devastating the Victorian community.

“The effect of these drugs on the community and families would have been profound. It may be your loved one, a friend or neighbour who has been spared the terrifying impact of this mammoth shipment.”

“If you have any information – please come forward. Help us find the people who are willing to put their profit before the pain and suffering of others.”

If members of the public have information regarding this matter, they should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The investigation continues. 

For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services, call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.

Media enquiries:
AFP National Media: (02) 6131 6333

ABF Media: (02) 6264 2211

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