The four alleged members of a transnational crime syndicate in Melbourne were charged after the haul, worth a street value of more $123 million, was seized by authorities.
The drugs were unearthed inside a large package of mustard bottles flown into Melbourne through air cargo from Chicago in the United States.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) conducted further forensic testing and found more than 1600 of the plastic mustard bottles within two pallets contained liquid meth.
A number of search warrants were conducted across Melbourne properties on Friday and the weekend, with AFP investigators and Victoria Police arresting the four alleged crime members.
A 29-year old Sunshine man was arrested at a home in Campbellfield and a 28-year-old man from St Albans was also arrested.
A 34-year-old man and a 34-year-old woman were arrested at their Albion property, with investigators seizing several kilograms of suspected illicit drugs at the scene.
The location of the “clandestine laboratory” was then identified, with AFP investigators securing the scene at a St Albans property on Saturday, before a search warrant was executed yesterday.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Southern Command Bruce Giles said the record seizure was a clear warning to criminals that law enforcement remained one step ahead.
“Today we have stopped what is Victoria’s largest liquid methamphetamine haul, dead in its tracks,” he said.
“These criminals continue to prey on our community, causing drug–related crime and misery, along with associated health and social costs.
“This operation shows that the AFP, together with our Commonwealth and state law enforcement partners are keeping a watch on every corner.
“We remain tirelessly committed to keeping up the fight to identify, arrest and prosecute those involved in this type of activity.”
The group faced the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Friday charged with a number of drug-related offences.
The 29-year-old Sunshine man has been charged with importing commercial quantities of border controlled drugs and attempted possession of border controlled drugs.
While the 34-year-old Albion man and the 28-year-old St Albans man have both been charged with attempting to possess commercial quantities of border controlled drugs.
The 34-year-old Albion woman is facing a charge of possession of a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs.
“This record meth seizure demonstrates the effectiveness of our relationship with law enforcement agencies here in Victoria and around Australia,” Australian Border Force Assistant Commissioner South and Enforcement Command Phil Brezzo said.
The group were remanded to reappear in court again tomorrow.
Source: 9News | BBC News & Gossip