A SHIPPING container of furniture was used to conceal a consignment of 360kilograms of crystal meth, it has been revealed.
The illicit cargo, discovered in Melbourne, is said to have had a street value of $180m and equate to 3.6m hits.
The Australian Federal Police has charged three men, including one Australian and two Malaysian nationals, following the seizure.
A 36-year-old Patterson Lakes man and two Malaysian men, aged 44 and 45, have been charged.
The operation began on 8 June 2020, when Australian Border Force officers examined a shipping container after it arrived into Melbourne via sea from Malaysia.
The container was filled with furniture, but the shipment concealed 18 unidentified and unlisted cardboard boxes.
Closer inspection showed the boxes were filled with small packages wrapped in aluminum foil.
One of the packets was opened and a white crystalline substance was tested, returning a presumptive positive result for methamphetamine.
AFP investigators arrested the accused at a Patterson Lakes home in the early hours of Wednesday 17 June.
Investigators then arrested an additional two men, both Malaysians, at a residential property in Melbourne CBD.
Additional raids occurred in Carrum and Williams Landing, along with a commercial property in Cheltenham.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Southern Command Bruce Giles said the seizure would deliver a significant impact to the drug syndicates.
“Our enquiries into the exact source of the drugs remain ongoing,” Commissioner Giles said.
“We will continue to work closely with our overseas partners to target the criminal syndicates behind this importation and attack the links they have to Australia.”
ABF Regional Commander VIC/TAS Craig Palmer said the detection highlighted the good work ABF officers did every day.
“While concealment methods are getting more advanced, so is the ABF’s ability to detect them,” Commander Palmer said. “Our techniques and intelligence is constantly evolving, and so is the dedication and ability of our highly trained officers.”