The Slatest

Billion-Dollar Australian Drug Bust Uncovers Meth Hidden in Push-Up Bras, Paint-by-Numbers Kits

Gel bra inserts (foreground L) containing concealed crystal methamphetamine at the Australian Federal Police headquarters in Sydney on Feb. 15, 2016.  

Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images

Police in Sydney, Australia announced a serious drug bust Monday with the seizure of 160 gallons of liquid methamphetamine—with an estimated value of more than $1 billion Australian or roughly $900 million U.S.*—sent to the country from Hong Kong. The contraband was shipped into the country in the gel lining of thousands of silicone bra inserts, paint-by-numbers sets, bottles of craft glue, and other art supplies. Three Hong Kong nationals and a Chinese national have been charged.

Here’s more from CNN:

Australian customs first discovered around 190 liters hidden inside thousands of stick on gel bras in a shipment from Hong Kong in December of last year. Delivery of the shipment was tracked to a storage facility where a Hong Kong national was arrested. An additional 530 liters of the drug were then found concealed in art supplies stashed in storage units in Sydney.

After the announcement of the “billion dollar bust,” said to be one of the biggest in the Australian history, there were doubts about how the value was calculated by authorities. “Police said the 720 litres of methylamphetamine uncovered could have been used to make 504 kilos of ice with a street value of $1.26 billion—working out at $2.5 million per kilo,” national broadcaster ABC News reported. “However, last month the [police] valued 159 kilograms of ice at $106.5 million, or approximately $666,000 per kilo.”

*Correction, Feb. 16, 2016: This post originally misstated the estimated value of the drug seizure in U.S. dollars was approximately $900,000; the value of the confiscated meth was around $900 million.