Australia police seize 585kg of meth worth over $400m in refrigerators from Singapore

Australian Border Force Superintendent Garry Low (centre) and Organised Crime Squad Detective Assistant Superintendent Damian Beaufils with the fridges used to conceal methylamphetamine during a press conference in Sydney on April 8, 2019.
Australian Border Force Superintendent Garry Low (centre) and Organised Crime Squad Detective Assistant Superintendent Damian Beaufils with the fridges used to conceal methylamphetamine during a press conference in Sydney on April 8, 2019.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

CANBERRA (DPA) - Australian authorities have seized more than half a tonne of methamphetamine, commonly known as Ice, hidden in commercial refrigerators imported from Singapore, it was announced on Monday (April 8).

The street value of the drugs hauled in by law enforcement at the border is estimated to be more than A$438 million (S$423 million), Australian officials said in a joint statement by the police and border authorities.

The authorities found the drugs hidden in commercial refrigerators in a consignment declared as electric ovens. The drugs have since been seized and a joint multi-agency investigation has commenced, the statement said.

The authorities in the past have said Australia has a "serious epidemic" of drug use with an "insatiable demand" for illicit substances resulting in a record number of seizures and arrests in recent years.

In February, an analysis of waste water data found that people in Australia spent about A$9.3 billion on illicit drugs in a year, largely on cocaine, heroin, Ecstasy and meth.

The most consumed drug was meth or methamphetamine, a synthetic stimulant that comes in several forms, with the report saying an estimated 9.6 tonnes of meth was consumed in a year in Australia.