Malaysian charged over US$206 mil­lion meth haul

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A MALAYSIAN is among eight men charged over a seizure of the drug “ice” worth some US206 mil­lion in Aus­tralia.

Some 275 kilo­grams (605 pounds) of crys­tal metham­phetamine was found un­der the floor­boards of ship­ping con­tain­ers af­ter a tip-off, the De­part­ment of Im­mi­gra­tion and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion said yes­ter­day.

As part of a con­trolled op­er­a­tion, the con­tain­ers were de­liv­ered to an in­dus­trial es­tate in Mel­bourne and seven Aus­tralians and one Malaysian, all aged be­tween 24 and 34, ar­rested.

“Three were charged with com­mer­cial drug im­por­ta­tion of­fences and the five oth­ers were charged with at­tempt­ing to pos­sess and traf­fick­ing a large com­mer­cial quan­tity of methy­lam­phetamine,” the de­part­ment said, with the max­i­mum penalty life im­pris­on­ment.

Aus­tralian po­lice said they worked with Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties on the case, as they co­op­er­ate to fight crim­i­nal syn­di­cates traf­fick­ing ice to Aus­tralia and in­ter­na­tion­ally.

The ar­rests come af­ter 14 sus­pected mem­bers of an in­ter­na­tional drug ring – eight Chi­nese and six Malaysians – were charged in Aus­tralia in May over a A$200 mil­lion seizure of ice.

Aus­tralia has launched a mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar strat­egy to com­bat the grow­ing use of the drug af­ter a govern­ment re­port re­vealed the coun­try has pro­por­tion­ally more users than most na­tions.

The Aus­tralian Crime Com­mis­sion study last year showed that ice users had dou­bled since 2007 to more than 200,000 peo­ple in 2013, with anec­do­tal ev­i­dence that num­bers have grown since then.

Vic­to­ria Po­lice As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Stephen Fon­tana said there was an “ever-in­creas­ing de­mand for il­licit drugs” and “as long as there is de­mand, there will be a mar­ket as the profit mar­gins are very big”. –

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