Australian police seize biggest ever methamphetamine drug haul | News | DW | 04.04.2017
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Australian police seize biggest ever methamphetamine drug haul

Federal and state police have discovered almost a thousand kilos of meth hidden in a shipment of floorboards. Police say the captured haul is worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

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Australia seizes almost AU$1 billion of methamphetamine

Australian police intercepted the biggest haul of methamphetamine ever discovered in the country, they announced on Wednesday morning.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) said they found 903 kilos (1,990 pounds) of the drug known as ice, mostly hidden in a shipment of floorboards.

The AFP estimated the haul was worth AU$898 million (636 million euros or US$678 million).

Local journalists shared images of the massive bust online.

"We are working domestically and internationally to catch these merchants of death - these people who traffic in ice," Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters.

"At the same time we're working with compassion with the community and with the people who have become subject to ice addiction to help them.

"Ice is a scourge, it destroys lives, it destroys families and communities."

Floorboards containing drugs (Australian Federal Police)

The drugs were sandwiched between floorboards found in boxes shipped from China

Two Australian residents were charged for their alleged role in trafficking the drugs, both facing life imprisonment, the AFP said in a statement.

It said police seized a further $5 million worth of property including industrial and residential buildings, vehicles and cash.

Minister for Justice Michael Keenan tweeted details of the case, praising state and federal police.

Keenan's office reported last month an "explosion" in the use of ice in Australia in recent years. His comments came after a study of wastewater found methamphetamine was the most consumed illicit drug in the country.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan said international investigations were ongoing and further arrests were expected.

"As long as there is demand, there will be a market and we need to stop the cycle which affects the entire community," Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Crime Command Stephen Fontana said.

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