Terracotta Pots Used to Hide Record-Setting $500 Million Worth of Illegal Drugs
In what authorities are saying is the largest seizure of meth and the third largest heroin bust in history, seven men, including four Hong Kong nationals and three Australians are facing charges relating to their alleged connection with an international drug syndicate.
The men were arrested Monday, after a combined effort between Australian Federal Police and Australian Customs and Border Protection raided eight locations in Sydney, which led to officers confiscating a surplus of drugs hidden in an inner city warehouse.
The drugs had been stashed and sealed inside over 100 large decorative terracotta pots and mixed in with another shipment of 3,200 pots that had made their way to Sydney a couple of weeks ago.
Authorities took control over 306 kilograms of meth and 252 kilograms of heroin that police estimate has a street value of $500 million.
Customs deputy chief executive Mike Pezzullo says, "There's a significant arm of organized crime in this country that reaches out to its overseas networks to source these drugs.”
While the source of the shipment is not being made public, AFP deputy commissioner Andrew Colvin says that more arrests will likely transpire in the very near future.
"At the end of the day, there's lots of `Mr. Mediums' and `Mr. Littles' that work with `Mr. Bigs'," said Colvin.
After a tip from the US Drug Enforcement Agency earlier this year, Customs officials began putting their finger on those people they suspected to have associations with the international drug ring.
All seven men implicated in this matter appeared in Sydney’s Central Local Court. None of them requested bail.