Australia seizes Afghan drug shipment
Sydney - Australian authorities said on Tuesday they had seized drugs worth Aus$30m concealed in a shipment of red raisins from Afghanistan, the second major drug bust this month.
The operation between Customs and the Australian Federal Police uncovered 97.7kg of heroin and 118.4kg of pseudoephedrine in a consignment from Iran but believed to have originated in Afghanistan.
It follows the seizure of 300kg of cocaine from a yacht in Queensland state three weeks ago.
"These are the largest seizures of both heroin and pseudoephedrine in the past 12 months," Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor said in a statement.
"This is a significant blow to the heroin and precursor drug trade in Australia."
Police said a 34-year-old Sydney man had been charged with importing a commercial quantity of drugs and was facing a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a hefty fine.
Customs targeted the consignment, which contained 3 105 cartons declared as "red raisins", for examination earlier this month.
After an x-ray revealed inconsistencies, a powdered substance was discovered hidden inside the linings of the cartons.
In September, agencies seized 271kg of cocaine from a consignment of lawnmowers sent to Melbourne.