Australia claims world's largest ecstasy seizure

Other News Materials 8 August 2008 08:27 (UTC +04:00)

Sixteen people have been arrested and 4.4 tons of ecstasy seized in what Australian police claimed Friday was the world's single largest haul of the party drug, the dpa reported.

The investigation began in June last year when a shipping container of tinned tomatoes from Italy arrived in Melbourne. The tins were found to contain ecstasy pills with a street value of 440 million Australian dollars (400 million US dollars).

The tins were put under surveillance. Another shipment of drugs, this time 150 kilograms of cocaine, arrived in Melbourne a year later.

The shipments, believed to be linked, prompted a nationwide dragnet in which 45 search warrants were executed and 16 people arrested and charged.