Police link Afghan crime syndicate to 98kg crystal meth seizure

Part of the meth shipment allegedly found stashed inside farm equipment.

Part of the meth shipment allegedly found stashed inside farm equipment. Photo: AFP

Acting on a tip, Australian Federal Police have busted a major shipment of methamphetamine stashed in wheat threshers.

Police allege  the two men charged with allegedly smuggling 98kg of the drug have ties to Afghani organised crime and arranged to receive the drugs from a ship that left Dubai and arrived in Melbourne in late November.

Police said on Saturday they had received intelligence from counterparts in Dubai and Serbia which led to the discover of cache concealed in the machines’ drive shafts.

Investigators delivered the machines without the drugs to Oakleigh South in southeast Melbourne, and the equipment was unloaded on the side of a road.

It is alleged a 30-year-old man from Tullamarine oversaw the machines being moved to a property in the regional suburb of Dewhurst, outside Melbourne. Police searched the Dewhurst property as well as a home at Tullamarine.

Drug lab equipment

Officers also found items alleged to be used for a clandestine drug laboratory.

The Tullamarine man, as well as a 34-year-old man from Croydon Hills, were arrested last week. The Croydon Hills man is alleged to have directed the Tullamarine man.

Both appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court on December 21.

The Tullamarine man has been charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.

The Croydon Hills man has been charged with importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug. Both offences carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

The men are expected to next face court on March 13.

The Victorian Joint Organised Crime Taskforce co-ordinated the operation. It included the Australian Federal Police, Victoria Police, Australian Border Force, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and Department of Home Affairs.

-with AAP

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