600kg of Meth Found in toilet rolls Via Sea Cargo in Melbourne

Image credit: AFP

Australian authorities have charged four men which are linked to the alleged importation of 622kg of methamphetamine hidden inside a shipment of toilet paper, which arrived into Melbourne via sea cargo from Malaysia on 4 October, 2023.

According to the Australian federal police (AFP), the four men have been arrested following a major law enforcement investigation into a criminal syndicate suspected of importing border controlled drugs.

The arrests include two 33-year-old Chinese nationals, a Malaysian national, 34, and a Hong Kong national, 32.

The investigation, known as Operation Improcco, included special assistance from the Victoria Police Clan Labs Squad.

The investigation began when Australian Border Force (ABF) officers identified anomalies in a consignment during an x-ray screening and reported the matter to the AFP.

According to AFP, It will be alleged in court that JOCTF and AFP Forensics officers located and seized 622 green and gold tea packages, each weighing 1kg, containing a white crystalline substance, which were further concealed within a pallet of toilet paper.

This quantity of methamphetamine is the equivalent of more than 6.2 million individual street deals and could be sold for an estimated $559.8 million, as the police claims.

Furthermore, forensic testing of the substance allegedly returned a positive result for methamphetamine.

It will be alleged that members of the JOCTF arrested one of the 33-year-old Chinese nationals and the 32-year-old Hong Kong national at Melbourne Airport as they separately attempted to board flights to leave Australia.

In addition, officers arrested the 34-year-old Malaysian national at a property in Sunshine North and the other 33-year-old Chinese national in Box Hill.

Victoria police detective acting superintendent Dan Ryan, organised crime division, said this seizure was a great result and a reminder to organised crime groups that Victoria Police remains focused on stopping illicit drugs from ending up in the community.

“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,” Dan Ryan said.

“We see it translate directly into a broad range of areas including road trauma, family violence, homicides, shootings and other violent offending intrinsically linked to the illicit drug trade,” he added.