SYDNEY, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Australian Border Force (ABF) officers seized illicit drugs worth more than 182 million Australian dollars (about 121 million U.S. dollars) hidden inside a coffee bean shipment.
The illegal import, containing 200 kilograms of methamphetamine and six kilograms of cocaine, was uncovered upon its arrival in Melbourne from Panama. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) said on Wednesday that it had launched a major investigation.
Earlier this week, the ABF officers in Melbourne x-rayed a full container load of coffee beans sent via sea cargo and saw anomalies. Further examination identified substances that presumptively tested positive for methamphetamine and cocaine.
AFP said if this shipment of drugs had reached Australian streets, this amount of methamphetamine could have been sold for approximately 2,000,000 street-level deals, while the cocaine could have been sold for approximately 30,000 street-level deals.
AFP National Anti-Gangs Squad Detective Superintendent Jason McArthur said the seizure demonstrated how drug smugglers attempt to use any product or means to bring drugs into Australia.
"The AFP's investigations into the criminal syndicate involved, including those responsible both on and offshore, remain ongoing. We are urging anyone with information to please come forward," he said.