Australian Federal Police arrested four individuals on Thursday on charges of smuggling methamphetamine and precursors into Australia from China. The drugs, worth $75 million, was seized by police and the four accused are expected to appear before the court on Friday.
The drugs, after being imported from China in shipping containers, were taken to Sydney’s Kingsgrove and Penshurst by the authorities. According to AFP NSW State Manager Chris Sheehan, the four arrested smugglers, two of whom are Chinese, are part of an international drug circle. The four accused, including a 57-year-old Australian
The four accused, including a 57-year-old Australian woman, will be presented before the court. ABC news reported that one of the accused is a 26-year-old man whose nationality is not yet known.
“These were not mere low-level players,” Skynews quoted Sheehan as saying. “We’re going to allege the people we arrested here in Sydney were significant and integral members of the syndicate.”
Customs officers discovered 159 kilograms of methamphetamine at the back of bar stools. Another 230 kilograms of ephedrine were discovered in powdered soup packets.
All four smugglers face charges of conspiracy to import and possession of commercial quantities of drugs. If convicted, the smugglers are likely to face life imprisonment.
The Australian Border Force inspected the containers on January 6 and 7. After the drugs were found, they were tracked back to the residences of the four accused.
Most of the methamphetamine imported to Australia come from China.
“China is in relatively close proximity to Australia and hence our focus on establishing Taskforce Blaze with the Chinese authorities,” Sheehan said.
Taskforce Blaze is a programme undertaken by the AFP and the Chinese anti-narcotics enforcement bodies to check the trade of methamphetamine between the two countries. As the price of methamphetamine is relatively higher in Australia, it attracts international drug traffickers.