Australian police seize record drug shipment | News | DW | 31.07.2012
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Australian police seize record drug shipment

Australian police have seized record quantities of crystal methamphetamine and heroin following a probe into an international drug ring. Seven people have been arrested in connection with the raid.

Four Hong Kong nationals and three Australian residents were among those arrested, Australian police said on Tuesday.

Police said the suspects were arrested on Monday after more than half a ton of drugs was found hidden in a shipment of terracotta pots in a warehouse in inner-city Sydney.

The 306 kilograms of methamphetamine, also known as 'ice,' was Australia's biggest seizure of the drug, while the 252 kilogram of heroin was the nation's third largest-haul of heroin. Altogether the drugs were valued to have been worth some AUS$500 million ($525 million, 428 million euros).

The raid followed a tip-off from the US Drug Enforcement Administration and was the culmination of a year-long investigation into the Hong Kong based syndicate.

"This was an 11-month investigation where we've had tight control over a number of people who we suspected of being involved in illicit narcotic importations," said Deputy Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin.

"This has prevented half a billion dollars of drugs reaching Australian streets."

He added that further arrests were possible.

ccp/ipj (AFP, dpa)