Australian police seize 766 kg of MDMA, arrest 4 suspects

Sydney, Aug 14 (IANS) | Publish Date: 8/14/2019 12:56:21 PM IST

A targeted drug bust has led to the seizure of more than a three-quarter-tonne of high-purity ecstasy and the arrest of four people suspected of belonging to a major international organized drug-trafficking ring, the Australian police said on Wednesday.

The operation, conducted by state police in Queensland and New South Wales in collaboration with New Zealand law enforcement agencies, ended in the confiscation of a total of 766 kg of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) powder as well as 200 kg of crystal meth seized in New Zealand last week as part of the same multi-agency investigation.
Tests revealed that the MDMA powder - which the police believe was to be used to make pills and capsules - is the purest ever recorded in Queensland, Efe news reported.
“We believe the drug would have been diluted with other agents and had the potential to make between six and 12 million capsules,” Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker said in a statement released by Queensland police. 
“This has a conservative value of 90 million Australian dollars ($61.13 million).” The police also seized various vehicles, around 108,000 Australian dollars in cash and an unspecified amount of other drugs. In Queensland, two men from Britain, as well as one local man were charged with drug possession and supply, while in New Zealand, the police arrested and charged two men from Britian.
The sheer size of the haul, the third-biggest of its kind in the region’s history, is expected to have a significant impact on the illicit narcotics market in Australia. 
“According to our latest National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Programme data, it is estimated over 1.1 tonnes of MDMA are consumed nationally each year, 223 kg in Queensland alone,” said Dr Katie Willis, the acting Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission’s state manager for Queensland operations.

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