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Britons arrested in Australia and New Zealand with £50million worth of MDMA and meth

BRITISH men have been arrested in Australia and New Zealand following a drugs bust targeting a UK organised crime syndicate.

Queensland Police said they had seized 766kg of MDMA powder in one of the region’s biggest-ever busts on Tuesday. Police in the state arrested two UK citizens, a 51-year-old man and a 40-year-old man, and a 26-year-old Australian man. A 51-year-old Australian woman was arrested in New South Wales.

As part of the operation, police in New Zealand also seized 200kg of methamphetamine last week.

A 60-year-old man and a 49-year-old man, both from the UK, were arrested.

The drugs haul has an estimated worth of $90million Australian dollars (£50.7million).

Queensland Police said the MDMA powder was the highest purity ever recorded in the region.

The powder could have made up to 12 million pills.

Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker, of Queensland State Crime Command’s Drug and Serious Crime Group, said the MDMA seizure represented around 7 percent of the national yearly total in Australia.

Mr Wacker said: “We believe the drug would have been diluted with other agents and had the potential to make between six and 12 million capsules.

“This operation has been focused on targeting and dismantling this organised syndicate.”

The UK’s National Crime Agency was involved in the investigations, alongside police in Australia and New Zealand, the Australian Border Force, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and other agencies. 

Dr Katie Willis, from the ACIC, said it was estimated that more than 1.1 tonnes of MDMA is consumed in Australia each year.

She said: “Removing 766kg of MDMA before it reaches our streets will have an immeasurable impact on the illicit MDMA market.”

MDMA is the active drug found in ecstasy tablets.

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