Australian customs seize $163M of drugs stashed in kayaks from China

Feb. 12, 2014 at 2:20 AM

SYDNEY, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Methamphetamine with a street value of $163 million, stashed in kayaks shipped from China, was seized in Sydney, Australian customs said Wednesday.

The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, in a news release posted on its website, said it made the drug bust with the help of Australian Federal Police.

The announcement said five people had been arrested in the Sydney suburbs of Hillsdale, Kensington and Greenwich. The suspects included four Taiwanese nationals and a Sydney resident.

The news release said the operation began a week ago after officers at the Sydney Container Examination Facility selected a container from China for X-ray inspection.

"This inspection revealed anomalies with the consignment of 27 sea kayaks. The examination revealed 19 of the 27 kayaks contained packages of a white crystallized substance. Initial testing of the substance returned a positive reading for methamphetamine," it said.

The container was later delivered to a storage facility where the suspects were arrested after they "allegedly accessed the kayaks to retrieve the concealed substance."

The drugs were packed into kayaks shipped from China, the announcement said.

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