TWO Sydney men have been charged with attempting to possess 800 kilograms of methamphetamine destined for Australia in 2023, following an investigation into a global drug trafficking syndicate.

The men, 26 and 34, were arrested at Hinchinbrook and Canley Vale in Sydney’s southwest.

The Victorian Joint Organised Crime Taskforce (JOCTF) launched the investigation – codenamed Operation Parkes – in January 2023 after Canadian authorities alerted the Australian Federal Police that 2900 litres of liquid methamphetamine, concealed in 180 bottles of canola oil, was destined for Australia.

In total, authorities stopped nearly seven-and-a-half tonnes of liquid methamphetamine, worth about $2 billion, from arriving in Australia in five separate ventures across several months last year.

Police will allege the two men were directed to transport and store what they thought was methamphetamine in locations across western Sydney.

Police replaced the methamphetamine with a harmless substance before it had been released for delivery in Australia.

Detective superintendent Jason McArthur said the alleged transnational drug trafficking syndicate posed a national security threat, considering the sheer size of the attempted importations.

“These criminals undermine the economy, social security system and financial system in all countries where they operate,” Det-Supt McArthur said.

“The AFP is well-placed to disrupt the criminal elements who wish to traffic border-controlled drugs to our country, with members based in 33 countries and established offshore partnerships with international law enforcement agencies.”

ABF Acting Commander Maritime and Enforcement South Dan Peters said ABF officers continued to work tirelessly at the border to prevent illicit drugs from hitting Australian streets.

“The Australian border is a critical national asset and our first line of defence against criminals who seek to profit at the expense of our community’s safety,” Acting Commander Peters said.

“The illicit drug trade continues to impact upon many Australians, causing immense harm to individuals and families, and the ABF remains determined to detect and disrupt criminal groups from importing illicit substances such as methamphetamine into our country.”

Both men were formally refused bail.