Melbourne men charged over surfboards meth bust

Two Victorian men have been charged after allegedly trying to sneak a huge haul of methamphetamine into Australia hidden in surfboards and silicon moulds.

The 33-year-old Burwood man and 33-year-old Ferntree Gully man are linked to 78kg of methamphetamine concealed inside a shipment that arrived into Melbourne from Los Angeles on August 11, police allege.

A white substance, which testing later confirmed to be methamphetamine, was found within resin inside 12 surfboards after X-ray screening raised the red flag.

The drugs were replaced and delivered to a Dandenong South storage unit, where the Burwood man and a NSW man collected the shipment.

The NSW man then loaded the surfboards into a vehicle and drove them to his house at Punchbowl in Sydney’s outer southwest.

The Burwood man and Ferntree Gully man visited a storage unit in Preston on August 30 and unloaded two pallets of boxes from a second shipment.

The facility was raided and the goods seized, including silicon moulds that police suspect are impregnated with methamphetamine.

While extraction of impregnated illicit substances from materials can be a complex process, AFP officers estimate the second shipment contains between 200 to 300kg of methamphetamine.

The Victorian men, who are allegedly part of a Melbourne-based Chinese and Taiwanese crime syndicate, were arrested and will face court on Wednesday on drug charges.

Australian Federal Police Detective Superintendent Jason McArthur said the methamphetamine would have fuelled more violence, crime and drug addiction if allowed onto the street.

“Across Australia, 33 people on average were admitted to hospital every day in 2020/21 for methamphetamine-related issues,” Det Supt McArthur said.

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