DRUGS

In pictures: Australia busts two Chinese smugglers who tried to hide $60 million of party drug MDMA in aluminium rollers

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 November, 2016, 12:36pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 November, 2016, 10:51pm

An Australian police operation has seized more than 500 kilograms of the party drug MDMA in Sydney worth AU$60 million (US$44 million) and arrested two Chinese nationals, officials said Tuesday.

The men, aged 38 and 34, appeared in a Sydney court on Monday on drug importation charges, a police statement said. They were denied bail and face potential life prison sentences if convicted.

The drug arrived in Sydney last month in a shipment of aluminium rollers. Australian Border Force officers examined the consignment and detected a crystalline substance concealed within the rollers.

“The container was loaded at the Port of Genoa in Italy, and the goods that were declared were aluminium rolls — 20 pallets of aluminium rolls,” Australian Border Force regional commander Tim Fitzgerald said.

“ABF officers used specialist equipment that revealed an inner cylinder within the rolls. The inner cylinder was lined with lead.

Police made a controlled deliver of the rollers to a Sydney warehouse last week and the men were arrested on Sunday.

Smuggling of crystal meth is also a large problem for Australia. According to the regional representative for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Jeremy Douglas, Australian authorities have reported that mainland China is the main source of meth and Hong Kong is used as a transhipment point.