A record amount of ice has been seized by Australian authorities, which was found hidden inside raw animal hides.
The 755 kilogram discovery is worth an estimated $566.3 million, and could have generated more than 7.5 million individual street deals.
It’s understood the haul was found on a shopping container travelling to Sydney from Mexico on August 13.
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A joint operation by the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Border Force examined the shipment, finding 18 pallets of frozen, raw and untreated cow skins.
Further inspection allegedly revealed 161 silver packages of crystalline white substance hidden within the skins.
Forensic testing then revealed the packages contained high grade crystal methamphetamine.
Investigators identified a 42-year-old Mexican national who allegedly organised the importation of the drugs into Australia.
AFP officers executed two search warrants at a St Kilda address and seized several electronic items on August 28.
The man has since been charged with importing a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs and attempting to possess a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs.
He’s could face life imprisonment when he fronts a court in Melbourne.
Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs the Honourable Jason Wood, said the massive seizure of ice had been kept off the streets thanks to dedication of officers
“If these drugs had made their way into Australian communities, countless lives would have been affected.
“The Australian Government will continue to support the identification and prosecution of those involved in attempting to import illegal substances into Australia,” Assistant Minister Wood said.
It’s believed the drugs were bound for Melbourne streets, with the AFP Commander Amanda Kates thanking officer’s hard work to prevent it.
“Hiding drugs in untreated cow hides presented a significant biological hazard for AFP and ABF members extracting it.
“It once again shows organised criminal syndicates have no conscience or care for those they are targeting with their illegal products.
“These syndicates rely on human suffering at all stages of their activities; this occurs at the supply end in Mexico, through to the harm suffered by users and their families here in Australia.
“If you buy and use drugs, you are helping organised crime to flourish both overseas and here at home, every time you purchase a hit,” said Commander Kates.