Two Sydney men charged over Australia and America's biggest-ever ice bust

Cheryl Sanders
February 8, 2019

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.

"Removing 1.7 tons of (meth) before it reaches our streets will have a huge effect on the illicit drug market", said Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission spokesman Jason Halls.

The Herald understands the men were involved in the syndicate's alleged drug distribution in Sydney.

Australian authorities said the seizure was the largest haul of methamphetamine ever recovered in the USA, the equivalent of 17 million individual hits.

It was reported that raids were carried out by Victoria Police, Border Force and the AFP in the suburbs of Woodstock, Pakenham and Campbellfield, in Melbourne's north.

The drugs were packaged with smaller quantities of cocaine and heroin, and were concealed in metal boxes labeled as loudspeakers.

It was reported to the federal authorities, who established a link between Australian bikie gangs and Mexican cartels.

Police were alerted to the alleged drug syndicate's enormous planned import when a country policeman in regional Victoria pulled over a driver and found a small amount of drugs in the vehicle.

"This is a serious warning, we now believe the Mexican cartels are actively targeting Australia", said Assistant Commissioner Bruce Hill of the Australian Federal Police.

Police said that three of those arrested would appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday, charged with attempting to import illegal drugs.

Police said some members of the group are Australian nationals with Vietnamese backgrounds. Two of those arrested, a 52-year-old man and a 46-year-old woman, are Americans.

After a series of raids this month, two United States nationals and four Australians were arrested this week in the Melbourne and Sydney areas. Luckily we worked with our USA buddies and were able to stop the shipment before it reached our shores.

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

The previous record of seized methylamphetamine bound for Australia was 1.3 tonnes found in Western Australia in December 2017.

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