Police looking for illegal goods "off the back of a truck" would do well to also check the wheels after $200 million worth of ice was found in the tyres of a vehicle from China.
Three Melbourne men, including two former dock workers, are facing possible life imprisonment after customs officers detected packages of methamphetamine hidden in the wheels of the mid-sized truck.
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service regional director Victoria Graham Krisohos said the truck, which originated in Shanghai and was destined for Melbourne, looked completely normal, but intelligence had led them to identify it as a risk.
"The concealment did show up on X-ray but what was unusual about the truck was when you just looked at it, nothing," Mr Krisohos said.
"The concealments are quite sophisticated and do require expertise and effort to actually uncover the substance, well concealed within the tyres."
In one of the largest multi-agency operations involving waterfront taskforces in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, officers monitored the truck, which was collected by a 59-year-old Altona Meadows man once it arrived in the port of Melbourne.
He was arrested after police raided eight Victorian properties, seizing the 200kg of methamphetamine along with $80,000 cash, mobile phones and hard drives.
A 29-year-old man and a 25-year-old man, both from Point Cook, were also arrested.
The AFP's Melbourne office manager Commander Scott Lee said because of the men's waterfront connections, it was important to work with interstate taskforces to avoid detection.
"We would allege, in terms of the importation, given their linkages onto the waterfront, if our interest had originated here in Victoria, they would have become aware of police involvement," Mr Lee said.
The 59-year-old and a 29-year-old Point Cook man have been charged with importing and attempting to possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.
A 25-year-old Point Cook man has been charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug suspected of having been unlawfully imported.They will appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on January 29 next year.