2 men charged over drugs smuggled into Australia in logs

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) " Two men had been charged with drug smuggling after methamphetamine valued at 115 million Australian dollars ($90 million) was shipped to Sydney from Africa hidden in wooden logs, officials said on Thursday.

The 154 kilograms (340 pounds) of the drug had been smuggled inside 14 logs within a consignment of 121 that arrived in Australia in June, the Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force said in a joint statement.

Police detected the drug in Sydney and monitored the logs as they were delivered to Melbourne in July.

Police launched simultaneous raids on Wednesday, arresting a 64-year-old man in Sydney and a 20-year-old man in Melbourne. They were both charged with importing a commercial quantity of the drug and face potential life sentences in prison if convicted.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan said international drug rings targeted Australia because Australians were prepared to pay among the world's highest prices for methamphetamine, their most popular illicit drug after cannabis.

Most of the methamphetamine in Australia comes from China, Hong Kong and Africa, Keenan said.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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