Australian police smashed a drug ring trying to import $525 million worth of crystal meth and heroin, one of the largest ever busts Down Under.
Seven people – four from Hong Kong and three Aussies – appeared in court this morning to face charges.
A judged denied them bail, ABC News reported.
“The actual concealment itself wasn’t particularly sophisticated – terracotta pots concealed in bulk on palates within cardboard boxes and then shrink-wrapped,” customs officer Mike Pezzullo said.
If convicted, the suspects face life in jail; they’ll return to court in October.
It was Australia’s largest ever meth bust and the third most heroin. Together, the drugs weighed more than 1,200 pounds.
Last August, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration alerted their Australian colleagues to the shipment, The Associated Press reported.
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Police rounded up the suspects on Monday in separate busts at eight Australian locations, AAP reported.
Only about 100 among the 3,200 pots – sealed with putty – held the drugs.
Authorities wouldn’t divulge where the drugs originated, and said more arrests are likely.
“At the end of the day, there’s lots of ‘Mr. Mediums’ and ‘Mr. Littles’ that work with ‘Mr. Bigs,’” police spokesman Andrew Colvin told reporters, the AAP said. “I think that we’ve got a good combination of the people responsible for this.”
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