Australian police make record meth haul; 8 arrested

Bags of methamphetamine seen inside a white hire van. Australian authorities seized 1.2 metric tonnes of the drug in Western Australia.

Story highlights

  • Police arrest number of suspects while offloading tonne of meth from a ship into a van
  • Record-breaking haul has a value of over $1 billion Australian dollars

(CNN)Authorities in Western Australia have seized a record 1.2 metric tonne shipment of methamphetamine, a statement from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) says.

The meth haul, worth 1.04 billion Australian dollars ($800 million), is the largest in Australian history and is believed to have originated in China. The swoop required months of work and the cooperation of multiple Australian agencies.
After being transferred from a ship off the coast, the drugs were allegedly offloaded from a vessel, the Valkoista, in the early hours of Thursday morning and were being packed into a white hire van in the Port of Geraldton, 400 km (around 250 miles) north of Perth.
    Agents swarmed the van and the ship simultaneously, arresting six Australians.
    Three of the drug suspects, guarded by AFP officers, next to the van into which the drugs were loaded.
    Two other Australian nationals were arrested at a hotel in northern Perth following the operation. All eight were charged with either importing or possessing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug. Both charges potentially carry a life sentence.
    The six-month long operation focused on a organized crime group operating in the country.
    Twenty search warrants across three states have also been served.