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150kg of meth smuggled into Aust in logs

AAP logoAAP 4/08/2016 By Melissa Meehan and Melissa Iaria

A plot to smuggle $115 million worth of the drug ice into Australia inside timber logs is believed to be the work of an international crime syndicate.

Two men from Sydney and Melbourne have been arrested following a sting operation by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australia Border Force (ABF).

The drugs, weighing 154 kilograms, were shipped to Sydney from Africa inside 14 logs which were part of a consignment of 121 logs that landed in June.

Border force officials on Thursday revealed when they checked the container they noticed the timber was sawn lengthways, hollowed out, filled with drugs and then nailed and glued back together.

The drugs were removed from the logs which were then put back together so federal police officers could follow the consignment on its journey, by road, to a Sunshine factory in Melbourne and parkland near an apartment building in Keilor Park.

A 64-year-old Sydney man and a Melbourne man, 20, were arrested on Wednesday in simultaneous raids and charged with importing and possessing drugs.

The Melbourne man, Sadiki Sibomana, appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court for a brief filing hearing on Thursday charged with attempting to import and possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug between April 4 and August 3.

AFP commander John Beveridge said both men were known to police and at least one of them had been monitored in the lead-up to the raids.

He also declared more arrests were likely as the investigation continued.

"Ice is a terrible drug, to me, it's probably worse than when we had the heroin epidemic, ice does harm to the community," Mr Beveridge told reporters in Melbourne.

"I think if this gets through, as well as the seizure a couple of weeks ago of 270kg, it would cause great harm to the community of Australia including Victoria."

ABF commander James Watson said criminal syndicates risked being caught.

"We've got very good intelligence, very good technology and we've got people that are looking out there every day. And as this syndicate was uncovered - we will find others," he said.

The Sydney man is being extradited to Melbourne to face court on Friday.

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