An alleged international crime syndicate has been busted operating in Victoria after 81kg of meth was found hidden inside meat smokers being imported into Australia.
The drugs, worth $60million, were discovered after Border Force officers detected trace amounts of meth in the shipment of cooking equipment on January 4.
The discovery of the 81 packages of meth, each weighing 1kg, sparked Operation Jumbuck to investigate who was behind the shipment, which originated in Cape Town, South Africa and was sent to Melbourne.
Police found $60million worth of meth (pictured) inside a shipment of meat smokers sent from Cape Town to South Africa
Border Force detected trace amounts of meth in the shipment (pictured) in on January 4
On January 15 officers from the joint operation between Victoria Police, federal police, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and the Department of Home Affairs raided properties in St Albans and Sunshine North.
Two men, aged 50 and 59, were arrested and refused bail on January 16.
The 59-year-old was charged with importation of a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.
The 50-year-old was charged with attempted possession of a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.
More raids were conducted this week in Maribyrnong and Maidstone, where another two men, aged 28 and 57, and a woman, 48, were arrested.
Amphetamines, heroin, smuggled cigarettes, and more than $600,000 in cash and jewellery was also found.
The 28-year-old was charged with trafficking a commercial quantity of a drug of dependence.
The 24-year-old woman was charged with dealing with the proceeds of crime in excess of $10,000, while the man 57-year-old man was slapped with the same charge for an amount more than $100,000.
The older pair were bailed while the younger man was remanded in custody.
Officers (pictured) arrest one the men in the alleged criminal syndicate operating in Melbourne
ABF Port Operations South Acting Commander Ranj Maharaj, said ABF officers are constantly on alert for illicit drugs crossing the border no matter how they are concealed.
‘Our officers use sophisticated targeting methodologies, including using x-ray and detection technology to help identify illicit drugs and other prohibited items crossing the border,’ Acting Commander Maharaj said.
‘Every day our officers go to work determined to protect the Australian community from these harmful drugs, and detections such as this one demonstrates the contribution they are making.’
Investigations are continuing.
Source: Daily Mail Australia | World News