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Record-Setting $1.1B Meth Cargo Seized at Port Botany

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These seemingly solid slabs of marble were carefully constructed to conceal a large shipment of meth (ABF)

Published Aug 25, 2022 11:56 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Australian Border Force has carried out the nation's largest ever seizure of methamphetamine, a 1.8-tonne haul valued at about US$1.1 billion. 

Earlier this year, detectives with the New South Wales Drug and Firearms Squad set up a task force to investigate inbound meth shipments. ?Acting on intelligence, Australian Border Force (ABF) officers examined a number of containers which had arrived at Port Botany last month. 

The boxes were filled with what appeared to be slabs of marble. Upon destruction, the marble was found to contain bags of meth hidden inside. The illicit haul totaled about 750 kilos, worth an incredible sum on the street in Australia. 

The seizure led to the arrest and charging of three men, aged 24, 26 and 34. 

Last week, another consignment of containers arrived at Port Botany. Once again, ABF officers took apart the cargo and found 1050 kilos of meth hidden inside marble using the same method. 

No additional charges have yet been made in connection with the second batch of cargo. However, taken together, the related seizures brought in a record-setting 1,800 kilos of methamphetamine, valued at a total of about $1.1 billion on the street. It is the largest meth seizure in Australia's history. 

NSW police official Detective Chief Superintendent John Watson said that police are continuing to investigate the smuggling syndicate and more arrests are possible. 

“We will allege this syndicate was extremely well connected in several corners of the globe," he said. “The fact that we have seized a further tonne – potentially ten million street deals – of this insidious drug just shows how little regard these types of groups have for the wellbeing of the community."