More than $300 million worth of methylamphetamine has been found stashed inside bottles of hot chilli sauce.
Australian Border Force officers came across the massive drug haul after targeting an air cargo consignment which had recently arrived at a Sydney freight depot from the United States.
After noticing inconsistencies in the shipment, which was declared as “sriracha chilli sauce”, ABF officers deconstructed the package which uncovered 768 bottles of the hot sauce.
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Police say the bottles contained about 400kg of methylamphetamine, which has an estimated potential street value of more than $300 million.
Following investigations into the ICE haul, officers arrested and charged three men, aged 30, 34 and 36 with attempt to possess a commercial quantity unlawful import: border-controlled drug and large commercial drug supply.
A fourth man, aged 45, was arrested outside a home in Edensor Park this morning and is expected to be charged.
Acting ABF Regional Commander for NSW, Matt O’Connor, said the seizure has prevented approximately four million hits of ice hitting the streets.
“This has been a complex investigation and we know the methylamphetamine in this import was headed for a clandestine lab in the Sydney Metropolitan area for the extraction process to occur,” he said.
“Methamphetamine, or ice, has a devastating effect on the community every single day – and the ABF will continue working with our domestic law enforcement partners to stop those who try to import this life destroying drug.
“This detection should serve as a warning to criminal groups that no matter how clever you think you are being in the way that you attempt to conceal and move your drugs, our officers have the skills, technology and the resources to find them and track down the people who are attempting to bring them in.”