In a complex, multi-agency investigation, a whopping 1.7 tonnes of methylamphetamine was stopped by Californian police, in what is the largest-ever seizure of meth bound for Australia, and the largest-ever domestic seizure of the drug in the US.
The drugs were packaged with smaller quantities of cocaine and heroin, and were concealed in metal boxes labeled as loudspeakers. The shipment also included 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of cocaine and five kilograms (11 pounds) of heroin. "Every day, USA and Australian law enforcement officers work together to keep us all safe".
The drugs were seized at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport on January 11, 2019.
United States authorities said the illicit cargo - with a street value of AUS$1.29 billion, or US$900 million - was hidden in two shipping containers carrying audio equipment bound for Australia. Police said they had found "h$3 undreds of thousands of dollars of proceeds of crime" while executing a search warrant of the couple's property.
The Australian Federal Police have warned Australians one of the largest Mexican drug cartels is targeting the nation.
In a statement Thursday, Customs and Border Protection officials confirmed almost two tons of meth were confiscated in Los Angeles last month as it was bound for Australia. Two of those arrested are Americans: a 52-year-old man and a 46-year-old woman.
The drugs, worth an estimated $1.29 billion, were found hidden in a container of audio equipment that were to be shipped to Melbourne. Luckily we worked with our U.S. buddies and were able to stop the shipment before it reached our shores.
"They have been sending smaller amounts over the years, this is now flagging their intent".
Three of those arrested are set to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday, charged with attempting to import illegal drugs.
The Australian investigation unit was made up of the AFP, Victoria Police, the Australian Border Force (ABF), the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and the Department of Home Affairs.