Australian police seize $526 million worth of meth and heroin
More than 674 pounds of crystal methamphetamine and 555 pounds of heroin were found inside 100 terra cotta pots.
July 31st, 2012
11:33 AM ET

Australian police seize $526 million worth of meth and heroin

Australian police say they have busted a major drug ring after seizing a record haul of methamphetamine and heroin worth $526 million (500 million Australian dollars) that was stuffed into terra cotta pots.

More than 674 pounds of crystal methamphetamine and 555 pounds of heroin were seized as part of an operation that began a year ago when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration tipped off officials that an international crime syndicate was planning to import drugs to Australia. Police targeted two massive cargo containers containing 3,200 terra cotta pots coming from Thailand.

X-rays of the containers showed what was probably drugs heavily packed into 100 pots, officials said Tuesday in Australia.

The pots were sealed with a putty-like substance to conceal the drugs, officials said.

"The actual concealment itself wasn't particularly sophisticated: terra cotta pots concealed in bulk on pallets within cardboard boxes and then shrink-wrapped," said Mike Pezzullo of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.

Officials from the two investigating agencies in Australia said it was the largest seizure of methamphetamine in the country's history and the third largest of heroin.

Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner of Operations Andrew Colvin said that through the course of the investigation, authorities kept close watch on suspects as they tracked the shipment.

Four suspects from Hong Kong and three Australians were arrested as part of the operation, the Australian Federal Police and Australian Customs and Border Protection Service announced. The men face a maximum penalty of life in prison on charges of possession or attempting to possess commercial quantities of methamphetamine or heroin.

“This operation follows the AFP’s most successful year in terms of drug seizures," Colvin said in a news release. “In the 2011/12 financial year, the AFP and its partner agencies seized almost 14 tons of illicit substances bound for drug distribution networks across Australia."

Colvin said that was in large part due to the collaboration between international intelligence groups.

soundoff (274 Responses)
  1. awram

    It's all too simple! The Russians allowed it and now the US is in partnership with whoever controls the poppy fields. There is absolutely no redeeming reason to allow the poppy fields to exist unless someone is collecting a share. One of the many ways in stopping terrorism is to cut off the money to buy arms and bomb making materials yet the US could wipe out those fields and subsidize in other ways for the Afghans to make money. Ask yourself why the Russians didn't do anything about it and we maintain the same policy. Under our police action the fields are producing more than previous years. Much of the product ends up here in the US.....why?

    July 31, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jim Weix

    Wow! They just got 1/100,000th of what was smuggled in one day. We are winning the "War on Drugs" :-)

    July 31, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy in Oz

      Yep, 250kg or so that won't be doing all manner of harm here..... don't know what the rest of the world especially your little corner of it is achieving.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jim

    The people responsible should be held in prison for life on a charge of pathological stupidity alone. Too bad it's not against the law to be a moron.

    July 31, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Elsworth

    No problem, the CIA will just resell what was seized.

    July 31, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. k9kipper

    I mean come on. You take an officer that makes on the average of 80, to 90, thousand a year an offer him or her an extra 20 tax free money. Cash, you can get them to do just about anything. Give another 100 on top of that an he'll find a friend, Know what I'm saying.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Keith B Rosenberg

    Half a billion dollars and they can't sell it or tax it. About the only thing good about it is that some terrorist organization is not getting the money either. Legalizing drugs would go far towards getting rid of organized terrorism.

    August 1, 2012 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  7. franklin

    I was just in Thailand–their drug interdiction is worthless as they only go after foreign national users. The bribery involved makes it so that runners can use Thailand as a superhighway via the Mekong river. Everyone knows it, and no one in Thailand does a thing about it. It's a massive operation with a zero chance for failure.

    August 1, 2012 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
  8. bobo

    Less supply means increased prices, and so more crime to pay for it. Nice work cops.

    August 1, 2012 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
  9. john

    Looks like some druglord didn´t pay the bribe on time.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Free Syria now

      Prolly came from China.

      August 2, 2012 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. creation +

    Walter White has been busy...

    August 1, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Anah

    Could some of these come from Cambodia? Recently, authority busted a Meth lab fronted as pig farm. All suspects escaped except the cook.

    August 1, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Vishal

    Would like to have some baserunning tips. Tips for satleing bases, what to look for when trying to steal 2nd and 3rd off of RHP's and LHP's and leads at 2nd base (deep or shallow) and why and what situation.

    August 9, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
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    August 11, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
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