Australia seizes big crystal meth haul from China

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australian police said on Friday they have seized methamphetamine with a street value of A$200 million (S$236 million) concealed in the tyres of a truck from China.

The 200kg bust was made at Port Melbourne with three dock workers arrested.

Police said the operation involved taskforces in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane with the shipment identified as high-risk ahead of its arrival at the port on October 1 and subsequent raids on a factory and properties in the city.

"This seizure has prevented more than A$200 million of this substance from being on the streets of our towns and cities in Australia," said Australian Federal Police Commander Scott Lee.

He said methamphetamine - which is also known as crystal meth or "ice" - was recognised as "one of the drivers of violence in our community and for recidivist offending".

"Through our combined commitment to combating this crime type, we are working across jurisdictions and borders to deal significant blows to crime syndicates," he added.

The men have been charged with various offences including importing a commercial quantity of a controlled drug and attempting to posses an illegally imported drug.

The offences carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

No arrests have been made in China so far with investigations continuing.

Earlier this year, police warned that wealthy Australia had become a key target for traffickers due to the relative strength of the Australian dollar.

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