$4.5m in ice found in camping gear

·1-min read

Two men have been caught allegedly trying to smuggle more than $4 million worth of the drug ice into Tasmania by disguising the substance inside camping gear.

On September 27, Australian Border Force officers found four sealed bags of white crystals hidden in camping equipment including tents and air mattresses.

The package arrived at a Melbourne mail facility from Spain, and was destined for Tasmania.

Australian Federal Police forensics tested the package and found it contained three kilograms of crystal methamphetamine.

As part of a joint police sting, the drugs were replaced with an inert substance with police then arranging for the package to be delivered to a property in the Hobart suburb of Glenorchy, AFP said.

Officers stormed the property on Friday to find the drugs had been removed from the camping package and placed into a red bag, AFP Detective Sergeant Aaron Hardcastle said.

Two Glenorchy men, aged 51 and 58, were arrested and charged over importing commercial quantities of border-controlled drugs, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Police said the street value of the ice is up to $4.5 million and may have resulted in 30,000 individual drug deals.

Det Sgt Hardcastle said federal police were not ruling out charging other people involved in the operation.

"The investigation is ongoing and we will continue to pursue all investigative leads, so we're not ruling out further charges for further persons," he told reporters in Hobart.

"Sadly, the drug market in Australia remains strong, but the ability of Australian law enforcement agencies, and our overseas counterparts, to combat these crimes and the insidious drug trade remains strong."

The two men will face Hobart Magistrates Court on Saturday.

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