Three people have been charged with importing 1,633 kilograms of methamphetamine and heroin into Australia by hiding them inside of stereo speakers originating from Bangkok, Thailand.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Border Force (ABF) issued a joint statement on Thursday, saying that seizure was the largest on-shore methamphetamine seizure in Australia’s history and the largest heroin bust since 2017.
According to police, 1.596 metric tonnes of methamphetamine and 37 kilograms of heroin were found after the AFP executed a series of search warrants in Melbourne. The drugs are estimated to have a street value of $AU1.197 billion (R11.976 billion) and $AU18.5 million (R185 million) respectively.
Police estimate that these drugs would have been equivalent to nearly 16 million drug deals.
Two men ages 37 and 38, along with a 37-year-old woman, are alleged by the AFP to have been involved in the illicit drug smuggling operation.
The ABF caught wind of the operation in April when officers detected the huge shipment inside of vacuum-sealed packages concealed within speakers during a sea cargo inspection at a Melbourne examination facility.
“Our officers are constantly alert to attempts to conceal illicit substances, no matter how creative criminal syndicates are in trying to hide them,” ABF Assistant Commissioner Enforcement Command Sharon Huey said in a statement.
All three suspects have each been charged with smuggling a commercial quantity of heroin and methamphetamine. The maximum sentence for the offenses is life in prison.
*Article appeared on Business Insider