SYDNEY – Australian law enforcement agencies have seized methylamphetamine worth 1.26 billion Australian dollars ($900 million) in the country's largest-ever haul of the illicit drug in its liquid form, officials said Monday.
Four Hong Kong passport holders were arrested in Sydney last month over the import from China of 720 liters (190 gallons) of the drug hidden in boxes of silicon bra inserts and art supplies, police said in a statement
The liquid could have made about 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) of high-grade crystal meth, commonly known in Australia as ice, Australian Federal Police Commander Chris Sheehan said.
Officials also seized 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of the crystalized form of the drug.
Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the operation used information gathered through new cooperation between Australian Federal Police and China's National Narcotics Control Commission. The Australian and Chinese agencies established a joint task force in November to investigate criminal syndicates trafficking methamphetamine.
"This largest seizure of liquid methylamphetamine to date is the result of organized criminals targeting the lucrative Australian ice market from offshore," Keenan told reporters.
The four will appear in a Sydney court next month charged with importing and manufacturing commercial quantities of illegal drugs. Each suspect faces a potential life sentence if convicted.
Keenan said the seizure was one the largest hauls of illicit drugs in Australian history.