A 76-year-old Canadian man allegedly tried to smuggle more than $22 million worth of crystal meth hidden in shoeboxes through Melbourne Airport.
The drug haul was discovered by Australian Border Force officers when they searched the Canadian national’s luggage after he arrived on a flight from Los Angeles on Wednesday morning.
The Australian Federal Police say the man claimed the substance was salt, but when officers ran a test it returned a positive result for methamphetamine.
The drugs weighed about 24 kilograms, the equivalent of about 240,000 street deals worth $22.3 million, the AFP says.
Authorities charged the man with importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug.
He faced Melbourne Magistrates Court and was remanded in custody, and is due back in court on September 1.
Focus on organised crime syndicates
AFP Detective Inspector Chris Salmon said further arrests could be made in relation to the seizure, noting there was “often an organised criminal syndicate operating behind such drug importations”.
ABF’s acting superintendent of aviation operations, Claudine Lupton, said its officers were detecting large quantities of drugs coming into Australia every day.
“Ice destroys communities and tears families apart. This is a significant seizure and I hope this sends a strong message to those attempting to bring illicit drugs into the country: we will find you and you will be prosecuted,” she said.