Drug bust discovers 300kg ice ingredient hidden with washing powder

Yahoo7 and AAP

Up to 300 kilograms of pure pseudoephedrine has been discovered hidden in a consignment of washing powder shipped to Melbourne.

A 12-metre container allegedly held 160 boxes of pseudoephedrine hidden among more than 900 boxes of washing powder.

Five men have been charged with drug importation offences after police seized the drug precursor, the Australian Federal Police said.

Australian Federal Police guard pseudoephedrine on a display table during a press conference. Source: AAP/Julian Smith

Pseudoephedrine is an ingredient in methamphetamine. Source: AAP

The accused men appeared in court over the weekend.

The pseudoephedrine is believed to have come from Vietnam and arrived into Melbourne in mid-December.

Australian Border Force Regional Commander James Watson told reporters on Monday that it is the largest seizure of pseudoephedrine for a number of years.

鈥淭he harm amphetamine substances do to our community, the way they ruin lives, this operation is another great example of how our joint law enforcement partners work together," Mr Watson said.

A joint law enforcement operation lead to the seizure of up to 300 kg of pseudoephedrine hidden in a washing powder shipment. Source: AAP

Up to 300 kilograms of pure pseudoephedrine hidden in a consignment of washing powder shipped to Melbourne. Source: AAP

Authorities said the seized precursor could have produced methamphetamine valued at $42 million wholesale, which would have had a street valued more than $200 million.

The bust came after a joint operation by the AFP, Victoria Police, Australian Border Force and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.

Pseudoephedrine is an ingredient in methamphetamine.