THREE men have been charged after almost half a tonne of MDMA worth $57 million was intercepted by Australian Federal Police in Sydney.
Police allege the drugs were hidden inside four industrial mincing machines in a shipping container that arrived in Port Botany from Turkey on September 28.
In total, Australian Border Force officers uncovered 248 packages, weighing approximately 496 kilograms, within the four machines.
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They say further forensic testing will be carried out to determine the exact weight and purity of the drugs, however it is “estimated that if this amount of MDMA were pressed into pills for sale on the street, it could have a potential street value of more than $57 million.”
Following a controlled delivery of the container, police arrested three men at an industrial business in Clyde, in Sydney’s west on Saturday October 6.
A 27-year-old man was charged with importing a commercial quantity of MDMA while a 24-year-old man and 29-year-old man were charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of MDMA.
The trio all appeared in the Parramatta Bail Court court on Sunday where they were remanded in custody.
AFP Detective Superintendent Kirsty Schofield, Coordinator Organised Crime Sydney, said the men were “working as part of a larger syndicate”, with investigations into those responsible for the drug importation ongoing.
Detective Superintendent Schofield said the drug bust was good news for the community.
“Had this drug seizure made its way to Australian streets, countless lives would have been affected. Whether it be users, health care workers that deal with drug issues each and every day, or the family that has been torn apart when deaths occur from illicit substance abuse,” she said.
“Seizures like this don’t address the issues of demand and why people are willing to risk their lives by taking drugs without accurate knowledge of what they contain, but stopping almost half a tonne goes some way to reducing the harm these drugs can cause our communities”.