132 litres of liquid meth found concealed in joint operation

A Melbourne man has been charged after allegedly being linked to the attempted importation of 132 litres of liquid methamphetamine concealed in bottles of washing detergent.

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A Melbourne man has been charged after allegedly being linked to the attempted importation of 132 litres of liquid methamphetamine concealed in bottles of washing detergent.

The British national, 28, will face the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court tonight charged with attempted possession and trafficking of a commercial quantity of methamphetamine.

A joint AFP and Victoria Police Major Drug Squad investigation – Operation Rainier/Enfield – began in January 2024 after Australian Border Force (ABF) members detected anomalies in a consignment of pallets containing bottles labelled as ‘ultra concentrate detergent’.

Victoria Police Detective Superintendent Dave Cowan said this arrest and seizure had prevented immeasurable harm being wreaked on the Victorian community.

“These organised crime syndicates are driven by profit and have no regard for those people who these illicit drugs will potentially have life-changing impacts on.

“We see this play out not only in a health sense, but also those who are consuming these drugs and then going on to commit other offences. Drugs are an enormous driver of family violence and crimes such as aggravated burglary and theft, plus they are a key contributor to deaths on our roads,” Det. Supt Cowan said.

Forensic testing on the consignment allegedly established that 21 of the 319 bottles contained liquid methamphetamine.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Rick Briggs said methamphetamine was an extremely addictive illicit drug and caused immense psychological, financial and social harm to users and those around them.

“This significant seizure demonstrates the importance of the collaboration between the AFP and our law enforcement partners to disrupt attempts by organised crime to import illicit drugs,” Det. Acting Supt Briggs said.

The total volume of the methamphetamine was determined to be 132 litres, which has an estimated street value of $30 million. Further forensic examination is ongoing to determine the purity of the seized drugs.

Police seized the bottles allegedly containing the illicit drugs and allowed the rest of the shipment to continue for delivery to a storage facility in Melbourne’s southeast.

It will be alleged that during the execution of search warrants in the suburbs of Brighton, Bentleigh East and Dandenong; phones, electronic devices and a small quantity of MDMA and methamphetamines were seized.

The offences carry a potential maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

“Criminals will continue to find crafty ways to get harmful drugs into Australia, but that won’t stop the AFP from putting them behind bars.”

ABF Acting Superintendent, Maritime Operations (VIC/TAS), Malcolm Hollis said that ABF Officers relied on a wide range of intelligence sources and detection methodologies to detect the concealment of border-controlled drugs.

“An inspection of the sea container, as a result of accurate intelligence, has ensured a significant amount of a dangerous drug has been seized before entering the Victorian community,” Acting Superintendent Hollis said.

“Methamphetamine is by far the most consumed and imported illicit substance in Australia. While criminal syndicates are relentless in their attempts to import the drug, we are even more determined to stop them.”

The investigation into the organised crime syndicate remains ongoing.

• For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.
• Access free 24/7 drug and alcohol counselling online at www.counsellingonline.org.au
• For information about drug and alcohol addiction treatment or support, go to www.turningpoint.org.au

SOURCEAustralian Federal Police
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