Drug Bust: Police Warn Mexican Cartels Targeting Australia

Leroy Wright
February 8, 2019

The revelation came following authorities stopping the largest-ever seizure of methylamphetamine bound for Australia, carrying an estimated street value of $1.29 billion.

USA authorities have confiscated nearly a billion dollars' worth of methamphetamine bound for Australia in the largest-ever seizure of the drug on American soil, Australian police announced Friday after a joint operation.

Another 25kg of cocaine, worth about $9.5 million, and 5kg of heroin valued at $2.6 million, was also uncovered in the shipment of 850 auto audio parts.

Seventeen million drug deals have been prevented, according to police.

Jason Halls, Victoria manager for the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, said the drugs would have had an "immeasurable" impact on the Australian community.

Crack cocaine is rarely seen in Sydney's drug scene, with the stimulant nearly always found in powder form.

The Echo Task Force then continued to investigate the drug possession, and following this, police began to investigate the possible involvement of Australian gangs, which lead police to the discovery of the drugs and the arrests.

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At a news conference in Melbourne, Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Bruce Hill told reporters that the drug shipment intercepted last month was concealed in 850 electrical capacitors stored inside two large containers purported to contain audio equipment.

Hill pointed to high Australian street prices and prevalent drug use as a "drawcard" for organised crime.

Officers from the Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police yesterday arrested six people in Victoria and NSW.

The people arrested allegedly have connections with a California-based organised crime syndicate.

The arrest led police to a house where two tonnes of precursor was used to cook methamphetamine. "We now believe Mexican cartels are actively targeting Australia, they have been sending smaller amounts of ice over the years but this is now flagging the intent that Australia is now being targeted", Mr Hill said.

Police said that three of those arrested would appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday, charged with attempting to import illegal drugs.

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