Several individuals were arrested as they are suspected to have been involved with the attempted smuggling of drugs into Australia. Approximately 400 kgs (880 lbs) of methamphetamine almost made its way into the country’s black market through a large amount of Sriracha hot sauce bottles.
According to Australia’s New South Wales police force, the supply was distributed via freight from the U.S to Sydney. The boxes were proclaimed to have bottles of the well-known hot sauce inside. After the Australian Border Force’s examinations of the bottles, it was revealed that they in fact possessed a high quantity of meth. The presumed street value of the drugs stood at roughly AU$300 million (about US$ 208 million). The highly addictive substance is commonly known in many regions as “ice”.
“This has been a complex investigation and we know the methylamphetamine in this import was headed for a clandestine lab in the Sydney Metropolitan area for the extraction process to occur,” stated Stuart Smith, State Crime Commander.
Three 30-something year old suspects were arrested previously in October, and this morning a 45 year old suspect was also arrested as he is believed to be involved with the smuggling. According to the police, the suspects were important members in their network, and investigations are still ongoing to uncover other people who might be connected to the drug smuggling syndicate.
“This detection should serve as a warning to criminal groups that no matter how clever you think you are being in the way that you attempt to conceal and move your drugs, our officers have the skills, technology, and the resources to find them and track down the people who are attempting to bring them in,” warned Matt O’Connor, Australian Border Force regional commander for New South Wales police.
Food items are one of the most common methods used by smugglers in their efforts to bring drugs overseas, but they are constantly trying to find new, creative ways to achieve this. Digital devices such as laptops and speakers, snow globes, clothing, and even stitching thin tubes of drugs into the lining of a carpet are some of the more interesting techniques that are used.