Eight people, including one New Zealander have been arrested in a massive drug smuggling bust of $54 million worth of liquid meth found on a boat on a northern Sydney beach.
About 90 litres of liquid methamphetamine was found onboard the boat as it arrived at Palm Beach in the early hours of the morning last Friday.
Australian Federal Police arrested the three Chinese men - aged 47, 49 and 58 - who were onboard, as well as a 29-year-old New Zealand man and a 56-year-old man from Taiwan who met the boat onshore, the
All five men have been charged with the importation and possession of a commercial quantity of border-controlled drugs and faced court last Friday.
The small tender had been launched from a larger vessel being monitored by the Australian Border Force.
Three other Chinese men - aged 23, 51 and 56 - were then arrested on Sunday after a fishing boat was intercepted off the coast of Hervey Bay, Queensland.
They were all charged with aiding and abetting the importation of a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug.
All eight men have been refused bail.
Further forensic testing will be conducted to determine the exact weight and purity of the substance, AFP said in a statement.
The arrests followed a large-scale joint operation between Australian and Chinese authorities that began earlier this month.
Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the seizure was a very serious blow against organised criminals who peddle in the misery of drug trafficking.
"This interception comes as a result of the strong ties and intelligence gained from our law enforcement partners in China," he said in a statement on Thursday.
"Together we are determined to disrupt the insidious ice trade that continues to pose a significant risk to the communities of Australia and China."
Since the partnership with Chinese authorities began a year ago, approximately six tonnes of drugs and precursors have been seized.
AFP Acting Assistant Commissioner Chris Sheehan, National Manager Crime Operations, said Australia and China "will continue to collate and share intelligence about drug syndicates targeting methamphetamine imports".