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Home FRANCE 30kg of methamphetamine and more than 11kg of pure powdered fentanyl were concealed inside an industrial wooden lathe that was shipped from Canada and arrived at the Port of Melbourne

30kg of methamphetamine and more than 11kg of pure powdered fentanyl were concealed inside an industrial wooden lathe that was shipped from Canada and arrived at the Port of Melbourne

Following a joint operation with the Australian Border Force, the AFP has intercepted the largest shipment of the deadly opioid fentanyl ever discovered in Australia, preventing more than five million potentially lethal doses of the drug from reaching the streets (ABF).
30kg of methamphetamine and more than 11kg of pure powdered fentanyl were concealed inside an industrial wooden lathe that was shipped from Canada and arrived at the Port of Melbourne in December 2021.
Due to the serious threat this criminal activity poses to the Australian community, the AFP, ABF, and Department of Home Affairs have formed a joint operation to find those responsible for importing the fentanyl.
The drug can be fatal at doses as low as 2mg, or roughly the weight of two grains of salt. The AFP is asking anyone with knowledge of the attempted importation for information and alerting the public to its dangers.
Fast-acting opioid fentanyl is highly addictive and targets the same bodily receptors as heroin.
In Australia, the drug is primarily used for medical reasons, but it is frequently fatally laced with heroin in illicit drug markets abroad.
Australian authorities only ever discovered trace amounts of illegal fentanyl imports, all less than 30g, with the first case in 2013.
Following an inspection of a container by ABF officers in Melbourne on February 3, 2022, the investigation into the importation got under way.
In military-style ammunition boxes concealed inside a three-ton lathe, the officers found nearly 60kg of powdered substances.
A two-week operation was started by AFP forensic officers to safely remove and examine the powder.
Several state and federal agencies, including ABF and Ambulance Victoria, which was on standby during the extraction and deconstruction phase of the operation, participated in the operation to safely remove the drugs from the machinery.
In order to guard against any unintentional skin contact with the drug, which could cause harm, loss of consciousness, or even death, forensic officers donned protective bio hazard suits while performing the delicate and difficult task of removing the powder from the lathe.
Fentanyl was present in about 28 kg of the powder, producing 11.2 kg of pure fentanyl, or about 5.5 million potentially lethal doses of 2 mg. About 30kg of methamphetamine, estimated to have a street value of $27 million, was also taken away by forensic investigators.
The most common form of fentanyl sold illegally in Australia is in the form of patches intended for medical use that have been taken or diverted from approved medical supplies. There is no precedent for assigning a street value to a significant quantity of the drug in bulk.
According to AFP acting Commander Anthony Hall, it is well known that criminal organisations all over the world are mixing this synthetic opioid with illegal drugs like heroin to create a dangerous concoction.
“Users of illegal drugs never know what they are taking in, and this seizure highlights the potentially deadly Russian roulette they play. We do not want Australia to participate in that deadly game with other nations.
Drug extraction is always dangerous, but because fentanyl is so deadly, even in small doses, our forensic officers had to wear biohazard suits, and we had several ambulances ready to go. Safety risks existed even in this tightly regulated environment for our members.
“Our concern is that if such a significant amount of fentanyl had been in the hands of Australian-based criminal networks motivated by greed, it might have spread unchecked and unnoticed into the community, potentially with fatal consequences.
Even a well-funded criminal organisation would suffer a significant setback if this much drug revenue were intercepted because it would have been used to support the syndicate’s extravagant lifestyles or next criminal endeavour.

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