Australia: Largest Drug Labs Police Have Ever Seen

Published: 05 November 2012


Police have shut down what is being called “possibly Victoria’s largest-ever drug lab” in two home raids in suburban Melbourne. Police say the labs were set up to produce tens of millions of dollars worth of drugs, Australian media reports.

According to local forensic teams, the labs were so elaborate that they estimated it would take two days to dismantle them.

Seven men, including two Canadians and one Vietnamese national, have been charged with manufacturing and trafficking large quantities of methamphetamine.

'”This is a very well organized international group,” Assistant Crime Commissioner Stephen Fontana told Victoria’s Sky News.

The raids were the result of a joint investigation between the Australian Crime Commission (ACC), The Australian Federal Police (AFP), and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.  The Crime Commission’s intervention manager told reporters that tracking money is the most effective tool authorities can use to track down major drug dealers. In Australia, the street value of one kilogram of methamphetamine can be anywhere from $230,000 to $250,000.

ACC executive director Paul Jevtovic said the raids were significant disruptions in the fight against organized crime.

“Not only has the intelligence and subsequent investigative operations dismantled two very dangerous clandestine laboratories operating in Melbourne's residential streets, it has also successfully dismantled an entire organized criminal syndicate from head to toe,” he said.

Local media reported that an ongoing investigation has been initiated with international partners, especially in Vietnam.