Melbourne: 622kg of methamphetamine found in toilet paper shipment

Four men have fronted court in Melbourne after police found more than 600kg of methamphetamine hidden inside a shipment of toilet paper rolls.

The 622kg of meth is believed to have a street value of about $560m and would be equivalent to about 6.2 million street deals.

Two 33-year-old Chinese nationals, a 34-year-old Malaysian national and a 32-year-old Hong Kong national, believed to be members of a transnational organised crime syndicate operating in Melbourne, were arrested late on Wednesday and also on Thursday morning.

The shipment of toilet paper arrived in Melbourne on October 4 via sea cargo from Malaysia and was discovered by Australian Border Force officers to have “anomalies” during an X-ray screening.

It will be alleged that subsequent investigations located 622 1kg green and gold packages, each containing a “white crystalline substance”, hidden inside the pallet of toilet paper.

One of the 33-year-old Chinese nationals and the 32-year-old Hong Kong national were arrested at Melbourne airport as they allegedly attempted to leave the country.

A 34-year-old Malaysian man and the other 33-year-old Chinese man were also arrested in Sunshine North and Box Hill respectively.

The men were all charged with one count of attempting to possess a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug and faced the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

Australian Federal Police Commander Raegan Stewart said Australia’s law enforcement “will not stop” disrupting such criminal operations.

“The illicit drug supply chain is littered with harm and had this amount of methamphetamine made its way onto our streets, it would have spread through our suburbs, fuelling more violence, crime and drug addiction,” he said.

“The use of methylamphetamine per capita in Australia is matched by no other nation in the world, and the devastating and tragic damage caused by its use ripples throughout the community.

“Our work does not stop with this seizure and these arrests.”

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