Published: Sat, February 09, 2019
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Massive haul of drugs headed for Australia seized at LA/Long Beach Seaport

Massive haul of drugs headed for Australia seized at LA/Long Beach Seaport

Authorities have seized a record 1.7 tonnes of ice bound for Australia, carrying an estimated street value of $1.29 billion.

The meth was found in two containers concealed inside dozens of metal boxes that had been declared to Customs as "Single Loud Speakers", according to investigators.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said 3,800 pounds of the drug were seized mid-January at the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex along with smaller amounts of cocaine and heroin.

US authorities said it was the largest-ever domestic seizure of methamphetamine.

The Australian Federal Police said the Victorian Joint Organized Crime Task Force was tipped off about a large-scale drug shipment from a suspected syndicate in California.

"By stopping this, we have ensured criminals will not profit from the enormous pain these drugs would have caused our community", said Bruce Hill, a spokesman for the Australian Federal Police organized crime unit.

Joseph Macias, special agent-in-charge for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Los Angeles, said: 'There's no question that the criminal organization behind this scheme has been dealt a significant blow.

Two U.S. citizens - a 52-year-old man and a 46-year-old woman - and four Australian citizens were arrested in the Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales as part of the bust.

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"The Australian public who are consuming ice and other illicit drugs are assisting organised crime to flourish", Mr Hill added.

"If this shipment had made Australian streets it equates to something like 17 million hits of ice".

Australian police have arrested six people in Victoria and New South Wales after the biggest seizure of crystal methamphetamine in USA history. Help us celebrate and post your best ice puns below. "They've been sending smaller amounts over the years, (but) this is now flagging the intent that Australia is being targeted".

"Hundreds of thousands of dollars of proceeds of crime was located during the search warrant in Woodstock, and about 6.5kg of (meth) was found at a property in Keilor Downs", police said in a statement.

"The cartel is one of the most powerful and violent drug trafficking syndicates in the world", he said, without naming the cartel involved.

"By stopping this, we have ensured criminals will not profit from the vast pain these drugs would have caused our community", AFP Assistant Commissioner Bruce Hill told reporters.

Three people fronted court on Friday on charges including attempted drug importation and possession with the trio remanded for their next appearance on June 17.

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