Police seize $1.29 billion drug haul bound for Australia

Hugh Fox
February 9, 2019

The drugs were found concealed inside dozens of metal boxes that were declared as "Single Loud Speakers".

It was the biggest seizure of methamphetamine in the United States and amounted to about 17 million doses, authorities said, adding that if it had reached Australia it would have been worth approximately $1.3 billion.

The drugs were seized at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport on January 11. (Australian Federal Police) Police said the drugs carried a street value of $1.29 billion. They were not identified except as a 52-year-old man and a 46-year-old woman.

AFP organised crime assistant commissioner Bruce Hill said Australia had been a target of the Mexican cartels for years, because of the high prices drugs command.

A joint operation between American and Australian law enforcement led to the seizure of close to two tons of methamphetamine in California that was bound for the land down under, authorities announced late Thursday.

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Authorities said six people have been arrested in the scheme - two Americans and four Australians. They asked commenters on their Facebook page to, "Help us celebrate and post your best ice puns below".

"Hundreds of thousands of dollars of proceeds of crime was located during the search warrant in Woodstock, and about 6.5kg of (meth) was found at a property in Keilor Downs", police said in a statement.

The bust is the third major seizure announced by USA authorities in a matter of weeks.

"This is a serious warning, we now believe the Mexican cartels are actively targeting Australia". They've been sending smaller amounts over the years.

Three of the people arrested will face Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday.

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Police believe the Mexican cartel has links to Australian-based outlaw bikie gangs but would not give further detail.

"We've got money, and we're willing to pay more for our drugs than anywhere else in the world".

'By stopping this, we have ensured criminals will not profit from the enormous pain these drugs would have caused our community.

The operation also involved raids in British Columbia on Thursday by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which resulted in the seizure of "a significant quantity" of suspected proceeds of crime, police said.

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