CANBERRA, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- A record 313 kg of methamphetamine en route to South Australia was seized by Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers, police announced on Monday.
The seizure of the methamphetamine, which has an estimated street value of 213 million U.S. dollars, was the result of a joint operation involving the AFP, Australian Border Force (ABF), the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC).
It represents the largest drug bust in South Australian history, topping the previous record-holder of 119 kg seized from biker gang associates in April 2017 by almost 200 kilograms.
Three men, aged 64, 61 and 45 respectively, were arrested and charged with a host of drug importation offences, including importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled substance, a charge which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
"They have no regard, in terms of their profit and how they seek to profit from the misfortune of others as these drugs hit the streets," South Australian Police Assistant Commissioner Scott Duval told reporters on Monday.
The methamphetamine, commonly known as ice, was found in crane jobs being imported to Adelaide by cargo ship on Jan. 24.
Police officials said they would work with international authorities to identify the source of the substance, but said they believed they originated in Southeast Asia.
Wastewater analysis undertaken in mid-2017 found that South Australians were the second biggest users of methamphetamine in Australia, trailing only Western Australia.
The biggest drug bust in Australian history came in December 2017 when eight men, two of whom were from South Australia, were arrested for attempting to import 1.2 tonnes of methamphetamine into Western Australia.