6 people arrested after largest US-Australian meth seizure

Los Angeles- Six people were arrested in Australia on Friday after U.S. investigators intercepted near about 2 tons of methamphetamine and other narcotics in Southern California bound for Australia. It was believed to be the largest single seizure of methamphetamine in the United States history and the big drug haul bound for Australia. In a statement, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that the drugs were packed in three containers looked like loud speakers and they were completely concealed inside them. The loud speaker’s form of containers was intercepted at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport on Jan 11. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Australian Federal Police said four Australian citizens and two U.S. citizens, a 52 year old man and a 46 year old woman were arrested on Thursday and Friday Australian time in the Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales. The charges included possession and attempted importation of a commercial quantity of border-controlled drugs, said Australian authorities. Search warrants were also executed in Canada, where crew members seized a significant quantity of suspected proceeds of crime, they added. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said 1,728 kilograms (3,800 pounds) of the drugs with an estimated street value of almost $1.3 billion Australian were seized mid-January at the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex along with smaller amounts of cocaine and heroin and would have provided around 17 million hits of the substance also known as ice. Three of those who were arrested would appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday, charged with attempting to import illegal drugs. Two other Australians face the same charge. After this incident, Bruce Hill, the Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner told in a news conference that the department now believes that Mexican cartels are actively targeting Australia.

They have been smuggling over the years in small amounts. Australia being targeted now is such a flagging intent, he said. “The guild is among one of the most powerful and violent drug trafficking groups in the world.”None of the agencies involved has further identified the guild. Though, “By stopping this, we have ensured criminals will not profit from the immense pain these drugs would have caused to our community,” said Bruce Hill. Moreover, the meth found from the victims would equal about 85 percent of all of the meth consumed in Australia’s second-most populous state, Victoria in an entire year. The seizure “will have a huge effect on the illicit drug market,” Halls, the manager of Victoria operations for the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission said in a conference. Such kind of seizure not only helps safeguard the country to which the shipment was destined however, has a positive impact on the international trade as whole.

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