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Indian held in Australia drug bust

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Indian Held In Australia Drug Bust. In one of Australia’s largest drug hauls, authorities have seized 274 kg of ephedrine hidden in a shipment...

Melbourne: In one of Australia’s largest drug hauls, authorities have seized 274 kg of ephedrine hidden in a shipment of rice from India and arrested four people, including an Indian. The four people arrested have been charged for their alleged bid to import and distribute drugs here worth an estimated $200 million, Australian Federal Police said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Indian was arrested by authorities in India after being tipped by AFP’s International Net-work. He is involved in organising the ephedrine and sending the consignment to Australia. The Australian Federal Police on Wednesday said that the seizure of 274 kg of ephedrine was “one of the largest single seizures of ephedrine in the country” and a “result of a joint operation involving AFP, department of agriculture and Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS).”

It is estimated that 274 kg of ephedrine could be used to manufacture up to 200 kg of crystal methamphetamine, worth up to $200 million.
The operation began in July this year, following the examination of a consignment that arrived in Melb-ourne from India containing bags labelled as “basmati rice”.
The consignment, containing an estimated 3,600 bags of rice, was subjected to a physical biosecurity examination by ACBPS officers, who identified a crystalline substance loosely distributed throughout the rice in some of the bags. The ACBPS subsequently confirmed the substance was ephedrine.
On July 24 this year, AFP commenced a controlled delivery of the consignment to a storage facility at the Melbourne suburb of Springvale and in August the consignment was transported to a storage facility in Fair-field near Sydney.
Two days ago, AFP officers executed nine search warrants in Melbourne and Sydney. Evidence seized included $2,55,000 in cash. AFP’s national manager, crime operations, Ian McCartney said this operation is a testament to the combined efforts of the AFP, international and domestic partner agencies in stopping criminals from importing drugs into Australia.
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