Australian authorities have seized nearly a tonne of the drug ice, valued at almost $900 million.
The haul is the biggest bust in the nation’s history.
The 903kg seizure was made in Melbourne as part of a joint operation involving the Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police.
— Dougal Beatty (@DougalBeatty) April 4, 2017
Two men — a 53-year-old Blackburn man and a 36-year-old Doncaster man — have been charged for their alleged role in trafficking the drugs following the bust.
After a tip off in January about a makeshift facility operating in Box Hill, police conducted 12 search warrants in the Blackburn North, Blackburn South, Box Hill North and Doncaster.
One of those searches, in a warehouse in Norcal Road in Nunawading, police found 70 boxes of wooden floorboards used to conceal approximately two kilograms of crystal methamphetamine in each.
The total weight of crystal methamphetamine from that one seizure was 862.9 kilograms, contributing to the total haul of 903 kilograms located during the operation.
Here’s a look at the floorboards.
The investigation remains ongoing and Victoria Police Clandestine Laboratory Squad detectives are hoping to identify two men, who are believed to be aged in their 30s, and of Asian appearance, who may be able to assist with their enquiries.
The ice epidemic in Australia has forced authorities to establish dedicated taskforces to eradicate the drug, also known as crystal meth.
Local Drug Action Teams have been deployed across the country, of which Melbourne has the lion’s share with 15 of the first 40 teams. Followed by Sydney with 11 and then the other states having at least 1 or more.
According to the Daily Telegraph these teams will be operational within months. As many as 220 squads will be established over the next three years.
Figures obtained by the newspaper shows police across Australia have seized more than 12 tonnes of the drug since 2013 with two thirds of the total in NSW.
According to health minister Greg Hunt, Australians proportionally use more methamphetamine drugs than almost any other country.
“Conservative estimates suggest there are more than 200,000 ice users in Australia,” he said.
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