In a string of raids carried out by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) across Sydney and Perth, 239kg of methamphetamine – or ice – was seized in the biggest bust of its kind in national history.
Four people, two Australians and two Europeans, were arrested for drug trafficking.
The record sting caps off a huge year for seizures by the AFP, which has hauled more than 1.8 tonnes of drugs off the streets this financial year.
AFP Serious and Organised Crime national manager Kevin Zuccato says the sophistication of transnational crime syndicates and the strength of the Australian dollar was making Australia an increasingly popular target for drug trafficking operations.
The drugs, worth an estimated $50 million on Australian streets, were allegedly imported through the ports by a highly organised crime organisation based in Europe.
Most of the methamphetamine was found by AFP officers in a van parked at an apartment block in the eastern Sydney suburb of Clovelly last month.
The AFP alleges a 41-year-old Belgian man and a 43-year-old Dutchman were running the trafficking operation out of safe houses in Sydney’s east.
The men were arrested along with an Australian man in Sydney and charged with trafficking commercial quantities of controlled drugs, and a fourth man was arrested in Perth and charged with possession.
As well as the drugs, police also seized cash and a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol with the registration numbers shaved off.