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Canadian, U.S. law enforcement seize 4 kg of meth encased in painting en route to Australia

Multi-jurisdictional operation sees Australian man arrested
A collaboration between Canadian, American and Australian law enforcement saw seizure of 4.1 kilograms of methamphetamine, hidden in a painting. (B.C. RCMP photo)

Canadian, American and Australian law enforcement teamed up to hamper the international flow of narcotics after several kilograms of methamphetamine were found encased in a painting.

According to a B.C. RCMP press release Tuesday (Nov. 30), the multi-jurisdictional effort led to the arrest of an Australian man.

While conducting inspections, Canada Border Services Agency officers discovered suspected methamphetamine in a package destined for Western Australia, stated the press release. B.C. RCMP’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime team was notified and it, along with United States Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations and Australian Federal Police, removed the narcotics and replaced it with “a placebo” before sending it back on its way to Australia.

Upon entry in Australia, Australian Federal Police had the package delivered to Embleton, Western Australia. A search warrant was subsequently executed and the placebo drug package was found buried in a garden. In all, 4.1 kilograms of methamphetamine were seized by police and a 38-year-old man was arrested. He faces charges of “attempting to possess a commercial quantity of unlawfully imported border controlled drug” in contravention of Australian law, the press release said.

Insp. Jillian Wellard, operations officer for RCMP Major Projects team said the operation was successful due to international co-operation.

“Collaboration between international partner agencies is becoming increasingly necessary due to the globalization of crime,” Wellard said. “This file speaks volumes to the exceptional working relationships between Canadian, Australian and U.S. law enforcement in the battle against cross border drug smuggling.”

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