AUTHORITIES are investigating 100 kilograms of drugs found in a shipping container sent to South Australia.
Australian Border Force officers intercepted the haul on 11 January at the ABF Cargo Examination Facility.
The consignment, sent from Guatemala and labelled as “leather belts”, contained about 90 kilograms of meth and 10 kilograms of cocaine.
Examination of the consignment uncovered hessian sacks loaded with clear plastic containers and tape-wrapped blocks. Testing confirmed the blocks contained 100 kilograms of illicit drugs.
Authorities estimate the potential “street value” of the drugs to be more than $85 million
ABF referred the packages to the Australian Federal Police, and an investigation has been launched.
ABF Chief Superintendent Bart England said this was one of a number of recent large detections of border-controlled drugs in South Australia.
Last week two men were sentenced over 139 kilograms of cocaine bound for Adelaide in a shipment of luxury buses.
“Our officers use their intuition and experience to detect drugs at the border, and in this [most recent] case, noticed some small anomalies in the consignment,” Chief Superintendent England said.
“An inspection of the sea container as a result of that intuition led to this significant amount of illicit drugs being seized before entering the community.
“Methamphetamine is by far the most consumed and imported illicit substance in Australia. While criminal syndicates are relentless in their attempts to import the drug, we are even more determined to stop them.”
AFP Detective Superintendent Melinda Adam commended the ABF’s detection of the illicit drugs and said the AFP worked tirelessly with national and international law enforcement partners to combat the supply of illicit drugs into Australia.
“Unfortunately, Australia is seen as a lucrative market for organised crime due to the comparatively higher price users are willing to pay for illicit drugs,” she said.
Authorities are continuing their enquiries to identify the shipment of the illicit drugs. They urged anyone with information to contract Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.