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Australia makes record bust of liquid meth hidden in bra inserts

Authorities have seized $890.5 million (794 million euros) in liquid methamphetamine in a joint operation with China. Last year, Australia declared a crystal meth epidemic.

The seizure of 720 liters of the drug was the largest catch of liquid meth in Australia's history, taking the equivalent of 3.6 million hits off the streets, authorities said.

"This is the largest seizure of liquid methamphetamine in Australia's history and one of the largest drug seizures in our country's history," Justice Minister Michael Keenan told reporters in Sydney.

Four Hong Kong nationals have been charged for the importation and manufacture of the drug, which was found in imported silicon gel bra inserts and later in art supplies at five storage units in Sydney.

"That shipping container was found to contain gel bra inserts and hidden inside those gel bra inserts was 190 liters of liquid methamphetamine," border police commander Chris Sheehan said.

The haul was the result of a new cooperation mechanism between Chinese and Australian authorities going after drug traffickers. China is the largest manufacturer of chemical precursors used in licit and illicit drugs, according to the UN office on Drugs and Crime.

Last year, Australia declared a crystal meth "epidemic" and

formed a national task force to battle the destructive drug.

According to the Institute of Health and Welfare, about 2.1 percent of Australians used methamphetamines or amphetamine drugs in the 2014,

one of the highest rates in the world.

cw/rc (AP, dpa, Reuters)

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