Police have seized $1.5 billion worth of drugs and charged six people in Australia’s second largest drug bust on record.

Three men have faced court and remain in jail while three more are due to appear on Wednesday.

The haul consisted of 2.8 tonnes of drugs, including over 1.9kg of MDMA, the active component in ecstasy, and almost 850kg of methamphetamine, commonly referred to as crystal meth or ice.

The drugs were concealed with furniture in a container and were intercepted aboard a cargo ship originating from Hamburg, Germany. The six men were arrested at a storage unit in Smithfield unloading what they thought were the drugs, but were in fact an inert substance replaced by the police after the drugs were intercepted.

The maximum penalties for importation and possession of commercial / large commercial quantities of MDMA and methamphetamine (750g – 3kg) is life imprisonment. The quantities intercepted in this matter are obviously at the high end of seriousness, and the men, if convicted, will serve a very lengthy term of imprisonment.

Commercial drug importation closer to home than you think

Sydney Criminal Defence Lawyers had a recent client facing a fate not unlike that of the men above. The teenager was duped into supplying the home addresses of a number of acquaintances by a drug trafficker under the ruse of importing a number of smartphones without paying duty on them, in exchange for a few hundred dollars. When one of the “smartphone” packages was opened by one of the acquaintance’s mothers, she discovered a large commercial quantity of methamphetamine.

The maximum penalty under the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act (NSW) for possession of a large commercial quantity of methamphetamine (more than 1kg) is life imprisonment. The same penalty applies for importation of a commercial quantity of methamphetamine under the Criminal Code (Cth) (more than 750g).

While charges have not been laid against our client, the possibility of an importation charge is real. Negotiations with the police are ongoing and Sydney Criminal Defence Lawyers are confident that our client will avoid a drastic outcome.

We recommend that you be careful when it comes to strangers approaching you with an offer that sounds too good to be true: it usually is, and you will never know how deep you might be getting yourself into trouble.

Read more at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-29/six-charged-over-enormous-15b-drug-bust/5927904

Image credit: Australian Federal Police and ABC News

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