Australia seizes $900m of liquid meth hidden in bra inserts

Aus-drug-bustAustralian law enforcement agencies have seized methylamphetamine worth AUS$1.26bn in the country’s largest-ever haul of the illicit drug in its liquid form, officials said Monday.

Four Hong Kong passport holders were arrested in Sydney last month over the import from China of 720 liters of the drug hidden in boxes of silicon bra inserts and art supplies, police said in a statement

The liquid could have made about 500kg of high-grade crystal meth, commonly known in Australia as ice, Australian Federal Police Commander Chris Sheehan said.

Officials also seized 2kg of the crystalized form of the drug.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the operation used information gathered through new cooperation between Australian Federal Police and China’s National Narcotics Control Commission. The Australian and Chinese agencies established a joint task force in November to investigate criminal syndicates trafficking methamphetamine.

“This largest seizure of liquid methylamphetamine to date is the result of organized criminals targeting the lucrative Australian ice market from offshore,” Keenan told reporters.

The four will appear in a Sydney court next month charged with importing and manufacturing commercial quantities of illegal drugs. Each suspect faces a potential life sentence if convicted.

Keenan said the seizure was one the largest hauls of illicit drugs in Australian history. Source: Perth News

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Kenya – Drugs Found on Auto Carrier in Port of Mombasa

hoeghKenyan and U.S. authorities found drugs aboard the Höegh Autoliners “Pure Car/Truck Carrier” (PCTC), which was detained at Port Mombasa on September 17. The crew of the ship has been arrested and currently being questioned by authorities.

According to authorities, cocaine was found inside the tires of three military trucks aboard the Hoegh Transporter, a Singapore-flagged car carrier.

Kenyan officials raided the vessel after receiving a tip from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that the vessel had been loaded with the coke at India’s Port of Mumbai.

Kenyan soldiers and security personnel shut down the port for hours before seizing the ship and halting operations. Mombasa, which is Africa’s largest port, serves as the main gateway for imports and exports in the region.

East Africa is a major shipping route for Afghan narcotics bound for Europe. Maritime forces have been unable to curb the flow of drug transport in the region.

The Höegh Transporter was built in 1999 and was transporting nearly 4,000 vehicles, including about 250, which are to be used for peacekeeping missions in South Sudan. Source: Maritime Executive

Kenya Charges Foreigners Over Maritime Drug Smuggling

Kenya Heroin Seizure [www.maritime-executive.com]

Kenya Heroin Seizure [www.maritime-executive.com]

Nine foreign nationals were charged in a Kenyan court with trafficking the biggest ever single seizure of drugs at the Indian Ocean port of Mombasa.

There has been a surge in the volume of heroin trafficked through east Africa in recent years, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime says, with east Africa’s biggest port of Mombasa cited as a transit point for narcotics and other contraband.

The suspects, who included six Pakistanis, two Indians and an Iranian, denied trafficking the heroin and were detained until November when their trial will begin.

Prosecutors told the court on Thursday that the 377.2 kg drug haul had a market value of 1.1 billion shillings ($12.54 million). Police also found 33,200 liters of liquid heroin whose value is yet to be established.

If convicted, the suspects face life imprisonment or a fine worth three times the value of the heroin, or both, a Mombasa-based lawyer told Reuters. The drug is typically transported from Pakistan and Iran to east Africa, known for its porous borders and weak maritime surveillance, and onwards to Europe.

They accused were arrested in Kenyan territorial waters in early July on board MV Bushehr Amin Darya, a stateless vessel, which was towed into the port of Mombasa, and police found the heroin hidden in the ship’s diesel tank.

Kenyan police said they were communicating with India, Pakistan and Iran to find the owners of the vessel, which they said was headed for Mombasa at the time it was intercepted.

An Australian warship seized a dhow in Kenyan waters with more than a tonne of heroin worth $268 million in April. Source: Reuters