THE AUSTRALIAN Border Force and Australian Federal Police seized 69 kilograms of drugs hidden in a consignment of tea and magnets from Thailand.

The AFP launched an investigation this week after the ABF uncovered the illegal import.

ABF officers in Melbourne x-rayed a consignment containing 27 boxes of magnets and tea products sent via air cargo from Thailand on 19 February.

Police said the x-rays indicated anomalies and further examination identified substances that presumptively tested positive to methamphetamine and heroin. In all, police found 56 kilograms of methamphetamine and 13 kilograms of heroin. Authorities estimate the drugs have a combined street value of up to $55 million.

Investigations remain ongoing and arrests are expected.

ABF Commander Aviation and Regional Operations South Chris Holzheimer said the discovery was a great result for law enforcement and is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the officers of the ABF.

 “The ABF are detecting large quantities of illicit substances coming into Australia on a daily basis,” Commander Holzheimer said.

“Criminals will try to hide illicit substances in a variety of creative ways; however, our well-trained officers have many detection methods at their disposal with officer intuition and use of innovative technology often the driving factor for further examination of many consignments.”

​AFP Commander Raegan Stewart said the seizure demonstrated how drug smugglers used any product and method to import drugs into Australia.

“The AFP, with partner agencies, is one step ahead and is unleashing maximum damage on the criminal environment,” Commander Stewart said.

Anyone with information that may assist investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.