The Australian authorities have launched an investigation after intercepting 585kg of Ice, worth A$440 million (S$426 million), inside refrigerators coming from a Singapore consignment.
The container, which was originally declared to have electric overs, were stopped by border officials in Sydney on 30 March.
However, after being checked by police at Sydney’s Container Examination Facilities, 11 commercial refrigerators were found inside and X-rays suggested there were inconsistencies in the build-up of the fridges, prompting officers to investigate further.
Upon detailed examination, authorities found seven fridges to contain a total of 561 packages of white crystalline substance, with presumptive testing returning a positive indicator for methylamphetamine, also known as ‘ice’, according to a media release by the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force (ABF) and New South Wales Police (NSW).
The media release also revealed that, “Forensic analysis determined the packages contained a total of 585kg of ice, which has an estimated potential street value of $438 million.”
Superintendent Garry Low of the Australian Border Force told at a press conference on Monday that the shipment came from Singapore, and the police were easily able to discover the drugs inside as “it was a fairly crude import and disguised in fairly basic manner”.
He added, “[It’s] the largest that’s been seized in NSW this year and obviously one of the largest that’s ever been seized.”
Following searches at a commercial premises at Wetherill Park and a home at Edensor Park, officers have also seized documents relevant to the investigation and electronic storage devices.
In the past, Australia has a “serious epidemic” of drug with an “insatiable demand” for illegal substances resulting in a large number of seizures and arrests over the recent years.
The drug that is highly consumed is meth or methamphetamine, where an estimated 9.6 tonne of the drug is taken in a year in Australia.