Sydney : Australian authorities today said they had seized large quantities of methamphetamine and ephedrine hidden in bar stools and soup mix packets shipped from China to Sydney. Arrests were made in Sydney while shipments of drug packets camouflaged in food packets were seized from drug peddlers who were caught red-handed after an intel tip-off.
Four people were arrested in Sydney yesterday and charged for shipment of illicit drugs and chemicals which they had hidden in three shipping containers that arrived this month from the Chinese port of Ningbo. Australian Federal Police Commander Chris Sheehan confirmed the seizure and informed that Customs officers have recovered 159 kilogrammes (351 pounds) of methamphetamine worth an estimated 107 million Australian dollars (USD 75 million) in the backs of the bar stools. The authorities confiscated around 340 kilogrammes (750 pounds) of ephedrine, an ingredient used in methamphetamine, in the powdered soup packets.
The arrests revealed that a 57-year-old Australian woman and two Chinese men aged 45 and 50 who were among the four arrested. The fourth accomplice, a 26-year old man, nationality untraceable as yet, has also been booked. These four alleged drug-peddlers are scheduled to appear over the case at a Sydney court on multiple drug charges.
Australia has been allowing its region to unfortunately flourish as an attractive market for international drug traffickers, a sole reason being — the price of methamphetamine is relatively high and motivates peddling from the region to and fro. The Police in general and Narcotics wing in particular, has been on the prowl and to put a curb on the menace, Australian police had established a task force in November with the Chinese National Narcotics Control Commission to investigate criminal syndicates trafficking methamphetamine.
Police today informed that the seizure and arrests were the result of a tip-off, but refrained from revealing the source of information for obvious reasons.