Cops make world's biggest ecstasy bust
FOUR men have been arrested in Melbourne over what police believe is one of the world's biggest ecstasy hauls.
An Australian Federal Police (AFP) spokeswoman said officers discovered more than one tonne of MDMA (ecstasy) tablets with an estimated street value of more than $250 million in a shipment at Melbourne's waterfront.
The spokeswoman said it was the largest ever ecstasy haul in Australia, and possibly the world, and was detected following a joint operation between the AFP and the Australian Customs Service, with assistance from the Australian Crime Commission.
A joint AFP/customs statement said intelligence developed by the two agencies led customs to the drugs in a shipping container carrying ceramic tiles imported from Italy earlier this week.
The tablets were concealed in cavities around some of the boxes of tiles and were first identified using x-ray equipment, the statement said.
More than five million tablets were found in a subsequent search of the container.
AFP officers monitored the container until it was delivered to a factory in Thomastown, in Melbourne's north, yesterday afternoon.
Two men later tried to recover the tablets.
A Black Rock man, 36, and a 52-year-old man from Clarkefield, near Sunbury, were arrested at the scene and were charged with aiding and abetting a commercial quantity of MDMA and attempting to possess a prohibited import.
AFP officers then executed 12 search warrants at homes and businesses across Melbourne overnight, arresting two others – a Gowanbrae man, 28, and a Sydenham man, 31.
The two were charged with aiding and abetting a prohibited import, a commercial quantity of MDMA.
All four were due to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court at 2pm today (AEST)
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