More than half a million hits of ice have been taken off Australia’s streets, with Customs uncovering $43 million worth of the drug imported in wooden pallets.
Officers detected the haul using an x-ray machine at a Sydney container facility last month before setting up a sting to snare the intended receiver.
Police allege there was about 65kg of the illicit drug hidden within the flat-pack cabinet materials, with an estimated street value of $43 million.
Crystal meth users typically use 0.1 of a gram in a single hit, according to the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre.
The drugs were swapped with a fake substance and delivered to a storage facility in Rosebery in Sydney’s southeast on Monday.
A 55-year-old Chinese man allegedly began pulling the package apart before he was arrested.
He has been charged with possessing and importing a commercial quantity of drugs and will appear in Central Local Court on Thursday.
Australian Federal Police (AFP) manager Ray Johnson said a large number of meth hits had been removed from the streets.
“It will have a significant impact,” he told reporters.
Police don’t believe the man was acting alone because 65kg of ice was a “significant investment”.
The seizure comes with the number of ice detections by Customs officers jumping 87 per cent over the past three years.
In 2011-12, there were 171 detections compared to more than 1300 in the past financial year.
Mr Johnson said Australia was an attractive market for organised crime.
“Because it’s an affluent democracy and there is a number of people in Australia that have an appetite for illicit drugs,” he said.