Asia Minute: Australian Authorities Seize Nearly a Ton of Crystal Meth

Apr 5, 2017

Credit Radspunk / CC BY-SA 4.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Police in Australia have recovered nearly a ton of crystal methamphetamine in a single case. It is the largest seizure in the nation’s history—and it underlines how much of a problem crystal meth has become in Australia. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.


By any measure, this was a massive drug bust.

Police in Australia seized 1,990 pounds of crystal methamphetamine in east Melbourne. They say that’s equivalent to 9 million hits.

The Justice Ministry puts the street value at nearly $700 million.

The drugs were found packed in boxes of floorboards—with more than four pounds of meth stuffed in the middle of each floorboard.

Authorities say the drugs came in by way of an international syndicate, and were shipped to the port of Melbourne from somewhere in Asia—although they were not more specific about the point of origin.

This is the latest example of the explosive growth of crystal meth down under.

A recent study of wastewater around Australia showed it is the most consumed illegal drug in Australia. Ice use is especially widespread in Western Australia and in Victoria—the state where Melbourne is located.

Victoria’s police minister said Tuesday that in her state, more people killed in traffic accidents have crystal meth in their system than are drunk behind the wheel.

Australia’s government has put together a national task force to fight crystal methamphetamine…after a report by the Australian Crime Commission called the drug the highest risk to communities of any illegal substance.