Search icon


27th Aug 2022

Police seize record two tonnes of crystal meth worth $1.6 billion

Steve Hopkins

The drugs were concealed inside marble stone

A record-breaking stash of methamphetamine which equates to an astonishing 1.8 metric tons has been discovered in Australia.

The find, in Sydney, state crime command acting director of operations, detective chief superintendent John Watson, said was “now the largest ‘ice’ bust in Australian history”.

The bust smashed the previous record meth haul of 1.6 metric tons, which was found in Melbourne after being transported from Bangkok in April 2019. The drug was hidden in speakers and led to three people being charged with drug offences.

Earlier this year, detectives attached to the NSW police’s state crime command’s drug and firearms squad commenced Strike Force Chellington to investigate the importation of illicit drugs into NSW and last month, “acting on intelligence”, uncovered a number of sea cargo containers which were later found to contain  748kg of methylamphetamine concealed within marble stone.

The seizure led to the arrest of three men, aged 24, 26 and 34, who are all currently before the courts.

Border force officers then examined a number of additional containers last week and located 1060kg of methylamphetamine concealed in the same marble stone method. The drugs were found in the same place, Port Botany, hidden inside marble, and the intended destination was a factory in western Sydney.

In total, more than 1800kg of ‘ice’ – which has an estimated potential street value of more than $1.6 billion – has been detected and seized during this investigation, NSW police announced.

No charges have been laid in relation to the second consignment.

Watson added: “This seizure will be felt for weeks to come by many high, mid and lower-level suppliers. The Middle Eastern region is probably our main focus. But I certainly wouldn’t restrict our investigation to just that region.”

Australian Border Force assistant commissioner East, Erin Dale, added: “The audacity of these individuals to think they could import such vast quantities of harmful drugs into Australia is astounding. Let’s be clear: this is the largest seizure of methylamphetamine at the Australian border and therefore a massive blow to organised criminals.

Another large haul of meth was discovered in Thailand in December last year, believed to be worth $88million.

Related links