More than $55 million worth of drugs have been found hidden in boxes of green tea and magnets that arrived in Melbourne from Thailand.
Australian Border Force officers seized a package containing 27 boxes of magnets and tea products sent via air on February 19 after X-rays uncovered 56kgs of methamphetamine and 13kgs of heroin.
The X-rays showed anomalies and the drugs were identified following further examination, with the substances then returning positive results for methamphetamine and heroin.
The Australian Federal Police has launched an investigation into the illegal import.
Street dealers could have sold the methamphetamine to approximately 560,000 people, worth a total estimated value of up to $50.4 million dollars, police said.
Police estimated the heroin has a street value of up to $5.5 million dollars.
Investigations remain ongoing and arrests are expected.
AFP Commander Raegan Stewart said the force was “one step ahead” of drug smugglers.
“Drugs and drug abuse have severe consequences for the Australian community,” Commander Stewart said.
“Those with illicit substances in their system are unpredictable and it’s not just their health they are putting at risk, but those around them.”
ABF Commander Aviation and Regional Operations South, Chris Holzheimer, said the force was detecting large amounts of drugs arriving into Australia on a daily basis.
“Criminals will try to hide illicit substances in a variety of creative ways, however our well-trained officers have many detection methods at their disposal with officer intuition and use of innovative technology often the driving factor for further examination of many consignments,” he said.