CBSA finds $4.1 million worth of meth hidden inside painting

Meth hidden in painting

Authorities in Canada, Australia and the United States worked together to bust a man who tried smuggling methamphetamine into Australia inside a painting.

Canada Border Services Agency officers intercepted a package leaving Canada destined for Western Australia containing a painting with 4.1 kilograms of meth inside.

With some teamwork between CBSA, RCMP, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, US Homeland Security Investigations and the Australian Federal Police, the package was able to be put back into circulation with a placebo in place of the drugs.

The Australian Federal Police conducted a controlled delivery to its destination in Embleton, Western Australia. A search warrant was performed on the residence and police allegedly located the placebo buried in the garden, with other parts of the painting found behind bins. A 38-year-old Australian man was arrested.

“Our goal is to stop the flow of illicit drugs from overseas and onto Australian streets and prosecute anyone involved in this dirty trade,” said Detective Inspector Coleman of the Australian Federal Police. “Methamphetamine use causes immense harm, not only to users but to the wider community.”

“Collaboration between international partner agencies is becoming increasingly necessary due to the globalization of crime,” said Inspector Jillian Wellard, Operations Officer for the RCMP Major Projects team involved. “This file speaks volumes to the exceptional working relationships between Canadian, Australian and US law enforcement in the battle against cross border drug smuggling.”

This amount of methamphetamine could have been dealt to roughly 41,000 people and those involved in its distribution could have earned approximately $4 million.

He faces charges of attempting to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported border controlled drug contrary to the Australian Criminal Code.

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