Three men have been charged following an Australian Federal Police-led investigation into the importation of approximately 295 kilograms of methamphetamine into New South Wales hidden inside an excavator.
The men were arrested at their Sydney homes after an investigation launched in July 2021 following the arrival of an excavator from Hong Kong into Sydney.
AFP investigators and forensic specialists, and Australia Border Force officers examined an excavator that arrived into Port Botany and allegedly found a concealment containing a crystalline substance hidden in a part of the machinery.
Tests showed the substance was methamphetamine, weighing approximately 295 kilograms.
This amount had an estimated street value of $184 million and could have been sold as street deals to approximately 2.9 million people.
Police allege the drugs were concealed within layers of concrete, steel and lead in an effort to avoid detection.
AFP officers removed the drugs and delivered the excavator to a business premises in Penrith in Greater Western Sydney.
Two weeks later, the excavator was moved to a premises in Arndell Park, where the three men allegedly examined the consignment.
Police will allege two of the men, aged 26 and 30, spent several days attempting to access the concealment within the excavator.
They allegedly purchased a number of tools from a nearby hardware store to cut into the machinery.
Ongoing investigations resulted in search warrants at residences in Prospect, Merrylands and Rydalmere. During the search warrants police seized in excess of $200,000 as well as encrypted communications devices and multiple kilograms of cannabis.
Information and Images sourced from here.