Traffickers hid meth in toolboxes: police

·2-min read

Drug traffickers disguised as tradies were walking around Sydney carrying meth-filled toolboxes, police say.

An alleged criminal syndicate spanning three states was busted this week with millions of dollars' worth of ice, the drug GHB, guns, jewellery and cash seized.

Two men, including one with a suitcase police claim contained more than 16 kilograms of the drug ice, were arrested in Sydney on Wednesday.

That sparked a series of raids across the city's inner suburbs and the discovery of a secret methamphetamine lab and $1.5 million in cash at a house near Sydney Airport.

Another 50kg of meth hidden in industrial plastic rolls was found at a nearby property, as well as 100 litres of GBL - a commonly used date-rape drug that converts to GHB in the body.

Police said large construction site tool boxes fitted with false bottoms were used to move the meth and conceal money.

"Narcotics were secured and transported almost in plain sight. It was crude but effective," Detective Superintendent John Watson told reporters.

"They kept it simple, they kept it clean. They were able to do things in a very quick fashion and that became their undoing."

The two men, aged 36 and 41, were charged with commercial drug importation and large commercial drug supply.

The older man was also charged with using a weapon to prevent lawful detention and assaulting a police officer.

Both were refused bail and are set to appear at Downing Centre Local Court on November 15.

A 37-year-old man arrested at the alleged makeshift drug lab was charged with two counts of drug supply and knowingly allowing his home to be used as drug premises.

He was refused bail and will appear in Newtown Local Court on September 29.

With the help of federal police, the operation then moved interstate with officers raiding properties in Western Australia and Queensland.

Seven kilograms of methamphetamine, more than $250,000 in cash, watches and jewellery valued at $150,000 and a small amount of cocaine were found at an industrial unit and serviced apartments in Perth's northern suburbs.

Two men, aged 32 and 34, were arrested at the unit and have been charged with trafficking a commercial quantity of methamphetamine and dealing in the proceeds of crime.

They were refused bail to appear before Perth Magistrates Court on Friday morning.