Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) officers together searched a sea freight shipment to Australia from Hong Kong. The shipment was declared to contain chemicals. On follow up
examination of the shipment, ACBPS officers found six barrels marked as chemicals. These barrels had many plastic bags hidden inside.
These plastic bags contained a white crystalline substance. This substance on chemical analysis turned out to be methamphetamine. Additional specialised forensic testing will determine exact weight and purity of the drug. Initial estimates place the quantity at 150 kilograms and has a potential street value of up to $100 million. Government agencies have not disclosed name of the Sydney custom broker involved in this case.
Methamphetamine – meth for short – is a very addictive stimulant drug. It is a powder that can be made into a pill or a shiny rock (called a crystal). The powder can be eaten or snorted up the nose. It can also be mixed with liquid and injected into your body with a needle.
Crystal methamphetamine (‘ice’) speeds up the messages travelling between the brain and the body. It’s stronger, more addictive and therefore has more harmful side effects than the powder form of methamphetamine known as speed. Ice usually comes as small chunky clear crystals that look like ice. It can also come as white or brownish crystal-like powder with a strong smell and bitter taste. Crystal meth is smoked in a small glass pipe.
As part of the investigation drugs were substituted and delivered to an address in Epping, NSW. This was accepted by a 66-year-old Hong Kong man and was charged with importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug methamphetamine and attempting to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported border controlled drug methamphetamine. Maximum penalty for these charges can be imprisonment for life, or a fine of $1,275,000, or both.