$500m worth of drugs seized
FEDERAL Police say they have smashed an international crime syndicate responsible for trafficking more than $500million in "ice" and heroin into Australia.
In a historic breakthrough in the war against drugs, 300kg of "ice", the biggest haul in AFP history, and 252kg of heroin, the third largest haul on record, was seized on delivery to a Western Sydney warehouse on Monday night.
Police will allege the drugs were concealed in terracotta pots which were shipped into Sydney's Port Botany two weeks ago.
The bust followed an 11-month investigation into the supply of drugs to the country's organised crime network.
Tip-offs from agencies in the US and around the world have provided the AFP and Customs with enough information to arrange for a "controlled delivery" so police could track where the drugs were being sent to before making an arrest.
AFP Deputy Commissioner Andrew Colvin said the drugs were being prepared for sale in Western Sydney and would have impacted "countless lives" had they gone undetected.Seven men - three Australians and four Hong Kong nationals - were arrested and charged with maximum importation offences on Monday night.
They fronted the Central Local Court on Tuesday morning and were refused bail.
While he acknowledged it was too early to say where the drugs had come from, Dep Com Colvin said he was confident the key people responsible for arranging the supply and distribution in Australia were behind bars.
He said the syndicate's operations effectively were in disarray and the bust would have a significant impact on the criminal economy.
Monday night's raid followed the most successful 12 months in AFP drug detection history.In the last financial year, AFP officers have seized 14tons of illegal drugs and $100million in proceeds.