Police Seize A Mammoth 500 Kilograms Of Meth In Major Drug Bust
Four men have been charged after half a tonne of an "absolutely pure form of crystal methylamphetamine" was discovered by Police.
NSW Police estimate the illicit drugs are worth $375 million and were destined for the streets of Sydney and other Australian states.
"This is a very sophisticated distribution network which was based in NSW and it's a significant arrest, "Acting Assistant Commissioner and Commander of State Crime Command Stuart Smith told media on Friday.
In late 2018, Strike Force Fergerson was established to investigate an alleged international criminal network who were believed to be bringing drugs to Australia.
Australian Border Force and the Australian Federal Police were also involved in investigations.
"Obviously there is extensive work in terms of intelligence gathering, investigation and electronic and covert surveillance carried out over the last couple of months which culminated in this arrest," Smith said.
Border Force officers examined a shipping container declared to them to be holding clothing at the Sydney Container Examination Facility in June.
Six of the 10 palettes examined were found to allegedly contain a whopping 500 packages of a white crystalline substance.
NSW Police later confirmed 500 kilograms of meth had been seized. They also discovered and seized $210,000 in cash after executing various search warrants in relation to the case.
Police revealed on Friday the alleged major drug syndicate aimed to distribute illicit drugs in NSW and other Australian states. It's also believed the group allegedly distributed internationally -- in an area as large as one-third of the world.
Four men, aged 33, 35, 36, and 55, were arrested and charged for allegedly being involved in the drug operation.
At about midday on Thursday, a 35-year-old man was arrested at Wolli Creek in southern Sydney. Shortly afterwards, a 55-year-old Canadian national was arrested at Hurstville shopping centre also in south Sydney.
A 33-year-old man and a 36-year-old man were also arrested during simultaneous raids in Sydney suburbs Rhodes and Carlton.
The men were refused bail and are set to appear in Sutherland Local Court on Friday. If found guilty of their charges, the men each face life in prison.
Police did not rule out further charges and arrests relating to the case.
Smith told media on Friday that the NSW State Command has seized a massive amount of drugs in the last 12 months.
"In the last 12 months, State Crime Command has seized 21 tonnes of amphetamine-type stimulants," Smith said.
"Each kilo of this substance that hits NSW creates a net cost to taxpayers of about $1.2 million worth of health, harm minimisation and the retention of prisoners so it's a significant seizure."
Police investigations into the alleged drug syndicate continue.
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