AFP's '$1 billion' crystal meth seizure claim questioned


Questions have been raised about the value of the Australian Federal Police's reported '$1 billion' seizure of methamphetamine on Monday - some on social media claim this value is over-exaggerated.

It was reported on Monday that a joint operation in Sydney busted a massive ice syndicate in what officials said was the largest drug seizure in the nation's history.

More than 720 litres of methamphetamine has been seized in the operation between the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the NSW Police, Australian Border Force, the Australian Crime Commission and the NSW Crime Commission.

Their calculations stated that 720 litres of liquid methamphetamine can be converted to 504kg of ice.

The AFP said it reached the $1.26 billion figure based on the amount of street hits it calculated from 504kg of methamphetamine. However, in a January press release the AFP claimed 159 kg of methamphetamine had a potential street value of up to $106.5 million, prompting many to question the figure of $1 billion.

Some took to social media to suggest the value was less than $1 billion and had been inflated to grab headlines.

The AFP declined to make an official comment to SBS, but confirmed they used information from the Australian Crime Commission Illicit Drug Data Report to formulate the total.

According to the ABC, the AFP have confirmed they are using a new 'upper range' approach to calculating the value.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan said this seizure was huge success.

"This has resulted in 3.6 million individual hits of ice being taken off our streets with a street value of $1.26 billion," Mr Keenan told reporters in Sydney on Monday.

Officials said the operation began in December last year when the Australian Border Force examined a shipping container out of Hong Kong.

"That shipping container was found to contain gel bra inserts and hidden inside those gel bra inserts was 190 litres of liquid methamphetamine," said Commander Chris Sheehan.

An additional 530 litres of liquid methamphetamine were found during the investigation by joint organised crime investigators.


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