News State Victoria News Ice worth $898m seized in record-breaking haul

Ice worth $898m seized in record-breaking haul

Ice seizure
A record 903 kilograms of ice, worth $898 million was seized in Melbourne
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

Police say the largest ever methamphetamine seizure in Australia has taken over nine million hits of ice off the streets.

A raid on a warehouse in Melbourne’s east found 70 boxes of floorboards which had arrived from Asia, each with about two kilograms of crystal methamphetamine inside, federal police officers said.

A further $5 million worth of cash, vehicles and property were seized as suspected proceeds of crime.

Police said 903 kilograms of the drug were found in the boxes, worth $898 million in a joint operation between Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Victoria Police.

record ice seizure
The record-breaking haul of ice is estimated to have a street value of $898 million.

How they found it

In January the AFP tipped off Victoria Police about a drug syndicate operating in Melbourne’s east.

A few weeks later about 40kg of ice, 175,000 cigarettes, $140,000 in cash and other contraband were uncovered when police raided 12 properties in Blackburn North, Blackburn South, Box Hill North and Doncaster, also in Melbourne’s east.

On February 2 and 3, two men, believed to be Australian-born, were arrested, and on February 6 the AFP raided a warehouse in Norcal Rd, Nunawading and found 70 boxes of floorboards.

About two kilograms of crystal methamphetamine was then discovered inside each floorboard. Two men have been charged with drug trafficking offences.

Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan details of the haul, congratulating officers on a “top job”.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the shipment was “enormous”.

“Ice is a scourge. It destroys lives. It destroys families and communities,” he told reporters in Tasmania.

“We will be ruthless in our efforts to stop the smuggling and the trafficking of this drug.”

National scourge

A recent study of wastewater around the country suggested methylamphetamine is the most consumed illicit drug in the country.

City and regional sites in Western Australia were found to far exceed national ice use averages, with South Australia also recording above-average use both in city and country areas.

High levels were also found in regional sites in Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania.

Following the report’s release last month, Mr Keenan said it confirmed there had been “an explosion” in the use of ice in Australia in recent years.

“Sadly it confirms what we already knew anecdotally and that is in Australia we have an enormous problem with illicit drugs,” Mr Keenan said.

Mr Keenan will outline more details at a media conference in Melbourne this morning.

– with ABC, AAP