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Stupid Case File for August 28, 2005

Thinking "Out of the Box" Doesn't Mean Cops Can't Find you...

Courtesy of Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Australian police have arrested four men after raids uncovered 800 statues made of ephedrine, a drug used to make "Speed" or methamphetamine, and valued at A$72 million (30 million pounds), police and customs said on Saturday.

About 400 kg (882 lbs) of ephedrine was found in a series of raids in Sydney's southwest on Friday, officials said.

The compressed powder, which had been used to make the bases of the ceramic statues, was originally discovered by customs in a shipping container that arrived from Vietnam on August 17.

Customs said the raids revealed that 800 of the 864 small figurine tree statues were made from ephedrine.

"It certainly is a very unusual form of concealment to actually be the product," Australian Customs Service regional director David Collins told reporters.

Police said the ephedrine was allegedly intended to make methamphetamine, commonly known as speed, and had the potential to make 1,440,000 tablets, valued at $72 million.

Australian Federal Police arrested four men on Friday in raids on a Sydney warehouse where the drugs were stored and two houses. The four were charged with conspiracy to import and supply a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug.

The men, aged between 29 and 36, were due to face a Sydney court on Saturday.


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