Police Just Made Australia’s ‘Largest Ever Meth Seizure’

Officers arrested three men, aged 24, 26, and 34, after the drugs were found in marble slabs.
Gavin Butler
Melbourne, AU
meth seizure
The collective street value of the drugs is estimated to be more than $1.1 billion USD. Photo supplied by NSW Police.

More than 1.8 tonnes of methylamphetamine has been intercepted at the Australian border, in what police are calling the nation’s largest ever seizure of the drug. 

The first shipment was detected in July, after border force officers examined a number of sea cargo containers that had arrived in Sydney’s Port Botany from the United Arab Emirates and found, hidden within palettes of marble stone slabs, 748 kilograms of meth. The second shipment was seized last week, after officers conducted further inspections of containers that had arrived at Port Botany and uncovered an additional 1,060 kilograms of the illicit substance, smuggled using the same marble stone method.


The collective street value of the drugs is estimated to be more than $1.1 billion USD.

Following the initial seizure, officers executed search warrants across Sydney’s western suburbs last week and arrested and charged three men aged 24, 26, and 34. While no charges have been laid in relation to the second seizure, which was announced by New South Wales Police on Friday, Detective Chief Superintendent John Watson said authorities were continuing to investigate the activities of the syndicate behind the smuggling operations. Further arrests, he added, were not being ruled out.

“We will allege this syndicate was extremely well connected in several corners of the globe,” Watson said in a statement. “The audacity of these individuals to think they could import such vast quantities of harmful drugs into Australia is astounding. Let’s be clear: this is the largest seizure of methylamphetamine at the Australian border and therefore a massive blow to organised criminals.”

NSW Police also announced a separate drug seizure on Friday, after officers discovered 161 kilograms of methylamphetamine and 30 kilograms of cocaine behind the headlights of a vintage Bentley. X-rays identified anomalies inside the Bentley S2, which was shipped into Port Botany from Canada. Three men, aged 20, 23, and 25, were arrested in relation to the incident.

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