Australia’s biggest meth bust: Drugs found hidden inside speakers

Australian authorities say they have seized the nation’s largest-ever haul of methamphetamine, an illicit drug known locally as ice.

The drugs, with an estimated street value of A$1.2bn (£660m; $840m), were found hidden inside stereo speakers in a shipment at a Melbourne port.

The consignment had come from Thailand, police said. No arrests have been made.

Ice has been described as the most common and damaging illegal drug in Australia.

Authorities said the 1.6 tonne bust was equal to more than 13% of all drugs seized in the state of Victoria last year.

It was detected after the Australian Border Force (ABF) used an X-ray to reveal “anomalies” in the cargo shipment following its arrival from Bangkok.

Police said about 37kg of heroin was also discovered in vacuum-sealed bags inside the speakers.

ABF regional commander Craig Palmer said it was “the largest meth bust we’ve ever seen in this country” and showed the “brazen nature of those involved in this criminal activity”.

The Australian Federal Police said the “insidious” drugs would have devastated communities.

They have appealed for public help to find those responsible.

Australia’s ‘ice’ problem

The powerful drug – which can be smoked, snorted or injected – became the focus of a national taskforce in 2015 to tackle its growing use.

he move followed a report by the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) that found crystal meth posed the highest risk to communities of any illegal substance.

Victoria – Australia’s second-most populous state – consumes more than two tonnes of crystal meth every year, according to government figures.

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