The border controlled drug was discovered concealed inside a shipment of thousands of canola oil bottles sent from Mexico.
Australian Border Force (ABF) officers identified the suspicious consignment spread across two shipping containers when it arrived in Victoria on Thursday, 31 March, 2021. Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers seized the shipment, which contained a total of 9,360 canola oil bottles.
Forensic testing later confirmed 269 of the bottles contained an estimated 538 kilograms of liquid methamphetamine instead of canola oil. The liquid methamphetamine seizure is the second largest in Victorian history, following AFP-led Operation ZEELANDIA in November 2020 which saw more than 560 kilograms of liquid methamphetamine seized and four alleged members of a transnational criminal syndicate charged.
AFP said the seizure was another example of the extreme lengths organised criminal syndicates can go to in order to import illicit substances into Australia. Australian authorities continue to halt the movement of illicit drugs across international borders and into our communities. This multi-million dollar seizure is another strong warning to organised criminal syndicates, both here & abroad, that the AFP & its Commonwealth and state law enforcement partners remain committed to identifying, targeting & prosecuting. Detectives are now working to trace the criminal syndicates connected to this shipment. ABF highlighted the unique skill set of ABF officers when it comes to detecting threats at the border with technical expertise and sophisticated technology that will find the drugs, regardless of method of concealment.
Working together with law enforcement partners increases ABF reach so criminal activity can be minimised to keep the community safe from harmful drugs.