(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI DAILY NEWS)
Australia seizes huge drugs haul from China
AUSTRALIAN police have seized 903 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine smuggled from China inside boxes of hollow floorboards — the largest haul of the illicit drug in Australia, officials said yesterday. methamp
Law enforcement agencies valued the seizure, mostly found in a Melbourne warehouse in February, at almost A$900 million (US$680 million).
Two Australian men, aged 53 and 36, have been charged with commercial drug trafficking and face life in prison if convicted, police said. A search is underway for another two suspects in Melbourne.
Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan described the concealment of the drug inside 70 boxes of wooden floorboards as “quite complex, quite unique.”
Gaughan said police knew the identity of the syndicate that supplied the drug, best known as ice. He would not be more specific than to say the drug originated from somewhere in Asia.
Justice Minister Michael Keenan praised Australia’s cooperation with China’s National Narcotics Control Bureau which he said had stopped 7.5 tons of drugs from reaching Australian streets. Australia was the only Western country that had a joint taskforce with the Chinese bureau based in Guangzhou.
“It is a very serious blow to organized crime around the country,” Keenan said of the latest seizure.
Australia’s drug users pay up to 80 times the price the drug would fetch in China, Keenan said.
Australia’s previous largest haul of ice was almost 880 kilograms seized in Sydney in November 2014. The country’s largest seizure of cocaine was in February when a yacht was intercepted with 1.4 tons of the drug.