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Oz police seize record-breaking haul of crystal meth worth €1.1bn

‘The capability that this syndicate has demonstrated to us, in terms of volume and size is enormous’

Part of the seizure made in Australia

Sunday World

One of the biggest seizures of crystal meth in the world has been made by Australian police who discovered $1.6bn (€1.1bn) worth of the drug in several sea freight containers.

Almost two tonnes of methamphetamine, also known as “ice” was found hidden in marble stone slabs in containers arriving in Sydney port over recent weeks.

New South Wales (NSW) state police said in a statement that just over 1,000kg of methylamphetamine was found in the latest seizure, after about 750 kg of ice was confiscated last week.

"The capability that this syndicate has demonstrated to us, in terms of volume and size is enormous. These figures are staggering," NSW Detective Chief Superintendent John Watson said during a media briefing.

Three men have been charged over their alleged roles in importing the drugs from the Middle East.

Authorities say the men are part of a broader syndicate with international links.

New South Wales Police said the group was "sophisticated" but officers could not believe their "audacity" in attempting to import such large drug quantities without detection.

Methylamphetamine, commonly referred to as methamphetamine or by its street name of ice or crystal meth, is one of the most potent varieties of the amphetamine drug.

The name 'ice' became popular due to its white little 'crystals' and glass-like appearance.

In a separate incident, NSW police said they had charged four people after finding about A$155 million worth of crystal meth and cocaine hidden behind the headlights of a vintage Bentley car shipped from Canada.

Acting on a tip off, border officials X-rayed the luxury car - which had arrived from Canada - and found "anomalies".

Police then found drugs concealed behind its headlights, ultimately uncovering a total of 161kg of methamphetamine and 30kg of cocaine. Three men have been arrested.

Australia is in the grip of what authorities have called an "ice epidemic". They say the drug is fuelling violent crimes, addiction and mental health problems, particularly in regional communities.

The country has the highest reported methamphetamine use per capita in the world, with about 6% of Australians - 1.2 million people - having used the drug.


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