A Hong Kong man was charged with importing more than 330 pounds of crystal methamphetamine to Australia after he was arrested on Thursday in Epping in northwest Sydney, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported. The drugs, which are estimated to have a street value of up to $100 million, were found in cardboard barrels marked as “chemicals.”
Customs officials said that they had found six barrels of several plastic bags when they searched a sea freight shipment late last month. The plastic bags contained a white crystalline substance, which was later found to be methamphetamine, ABC reported, adding that the drugs, also known as ice, were handed over to the Australian Federal Police.
“An X-ray was undertaken of the consignment itself, where an image X-ray expert identified anomalies within the consignment,” Tim Fitzgerald, New South Wales regional commander for Customs and Border Protection, told ABC. “As a result of that, the consignment was examined by our Customs officers and the detection was made of 150 kilograms of ice.”
The 66-year-old Hong Kong national is reportedly due to appear in Sydney Central Local Court on Friday.
Thursday’s arrest followed a similar incident in late November when Australian police seized nearly 2,000 pounds of crystal methamphetamine and other narcotics worth more than $1.5 billion.
A New Zealand-born Australian man went on trial in China last week, after being charged with smuggling methamphetamine out of the country. The 25-year-old man was arrested in November at Guangzhou airport while attempting to board a flight to Sydney.