Five people in Melbourne’s west have been charged after 81 kilograms of methamphetamine packed inside meat smokers was flown into Melbourne from Cape Town, South Africa.
The drugs have an estimated street value of more than $60 million.
A St Albans man, 59, has been charged with importation and attempted possession of a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.
A Sunshine North man, 50, has been charged with attempted possession of a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.
Two men and a woman were arrested after search warrants were executed in Maribyrnong and Maidstone.
More than $600,000 in cash was also seized, some of which was found hidden in luxury handbags allegedly thrown into a garden when police arrived.
Police also seized 800 grams of suspected amphetamine and heroin, a quantity of unlawfully imported cigarettes, and luxury items such as jewellery suspected to have been purchased from the proceeds of crime.
A Maribyrnong man, 28, was charged with trafficking a commercial quantity of a drug of dependence and a second Maribyrnong man, 57, was charged with dealing with proceeds of crime in excess of $100,000 and possession of tobacco products.
A Maribyrnong woman, 48, was charged with dealing with proceeds of crime in excess of $10,000.
The five arrests were a culmination of Operation Jumbuck, which began on January 4 after Australian Border Force officers detected an illicit substance inside a consignment of meat smokers.
Investigations are continuing.