Four Australian men have been arrested for smuggling 400 kilograms (882 pounds) of methylamphetamine inside hundreds of bottles of the popular Asian hot sauce Sriracha.
Officers of the Australian Border Force searched an air cargo consignment that arrived in Sydney from the U.S. on Oct. 15, according to the NSW Police Force
Australian police found 768 bottles of Sriracha chili sauce, “with presumptive testing returning a positive indicator for methylamphetamine (ice).”
Tests confirmed that the bottles of the famous hot sauce contained a total of 400 kilograms (882 pounds) of meth, or “ice,” and had an estimated street value of more than $300 million.
A 36-year-old man was arrested outside of a home in Plumpton on Oct. 20 and two other men, ages 30 and 34, were taken by the police the following day at a hotel parking lot in Sydney’s central business district (CBD), NSW Police Force said.
Police searched a vehicle in the parking lot and seized 26 bottles of the hot sauce along with four mobile phones.
Meanwhile, a fourth man, age 45, was arrested outside of a home at Edensor Park on Thursday and was taken to the Fairfield Police Station.
“This has been a complex investigation and we know the methylamphetamine in this import was headed for a clandestine lab in the Sydney Metropolitan area for the extraction process to occur,” State Crime Commander Stuart Smith said in a statement. “We will conduct further investigations with our law enforcement partners to identify other people linked to the group.”
The men have been charged with attempt to possess a commercial quantity and the unlawful importing of a border controlled drug.
The police were able to prevent approximately 882 pounds of ice from hitting the streets with the recent bust, according to acting regional commander for the Australian Border Force, Matt O’Connor.