New Zealander arrested in $54 million Sydney meth bust

By Rachel Eddie

Australian Federal Police search one of the boats during the drug smuggling bust on a northern Sydney beach. Photo / Australian Federal Police
Australian Federal Police search one of the boats during the drug smuggling bust on a northern Sydney beach. Photo / Australian Federal Police

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.

Eight people were arrested after Australian Federal Police found $54 million worth of liquid methamphetamine on a boat at Palm Beach, in Sydney's north. Photo / Australian Federal Police
Eight people were arrested after Australian Federal Police found $54 million worth of liquid methamphetamine on a boat at Palm Beach, in Sydney's north. Photo / Australian Federal Police

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 Daily Mail reports.

All five men have been charged with the importation and possession of a commercial quantity of border-controlled drugs and faced court last Friday.

About 90 litres of the drug was discovered onboard last Friday morning. Photo / Australian Federal Police
About 90 litres of the drug was discovered onboard last Friday morning. Photo / Australian Federal Police

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.

AFP arrested the three Chinese men who were onboard, as well as a New Zealand man and a man from Taiwan who met the boat onshore. Photo / Australian Federal Police
AFP arrested the three Chinese men who were onboard, as well as a New Zealand man and a man from Taiwan who met the boat onshore. Photo / Australian Federal Police

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.

Since the partnership with Chinese authorities began a year ago, approximately six tonnes of drugs and precursors have been seized. Photo / Australian Federal Police
Since the partnership with Chinese authorities began a year ago, approximately six tonnes of drugs and precursors have been seized. Photo / Australian Federal Police

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."

The arrests followed a large-scale joint operation between Australian and Chinese authorities that began earlier this month. Photo / Australian Federal Police
The arrests followed a large-scale joint operation between Australian and Chinese authorities that began earlier this month. Photo / Australian Federal Police

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".

- Daily Mail

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