Three men have been arrested after allegedly setting up counterfeit companies to import 180 kilograms of methamphetamine in a load of refrigerated air dryers.
The Australian Border Force said officers found the drug while searching the shipment, which arrived in Sydney from Malaysia in September.
Each of the nine dryers is alleged to have 20 vacuum-sealed packages, all of which contained about one kilogram of the white crystalline drug.
The drugs are estimated to have a street value of up to $ 135 million.
Australian Federal Police officers tracked the shipment to an address in Alexandria, just south of the Sydney CBD.
That month, they conducted a raid at Chipping Norton, in the city’s southwest, and arrested a 28-year-old man.
During the search, investigators seized telephone, fraudulent documents allegedly used to plan the import, and an estimated $ 250,000 in cash.
After further investigations, police executed warrants last month at the western Sydney addresses of three other alleged syndicate members.
The men, aged 20, 25 and 30, were charged with offenses involving the importation of a commercial quantity of illegal drugs.
Police said they also found a large number of fraudulent identification documents, two firearms, bullets and a ballistic vest during their searches.
They claim the trio worked with the man arrested earlier to create fake companies and documents used to import the drug in September.
The three faced court in Sydney on November 25 and were remanded in custody to reappear next year, while the 28-year-old man arrested earlier is due back in court this week.
Commander Todd Hunter, of AFP Southern Command, said border restrictions had not prevented criminals from trying to import illegal drugs.
“Unfortunately, Australians are among the highest per capita methamphetamine users and criminals will fall prey to that demand for profit,” said Commander Hunter.
“Now, that greed is likely to end in long-term prison sentences.”