Four men have been arrested in Sydney after the find. Picture: NSW Police
Four men have been arrested in Sydney after the find. Picture: NSW Police

Shock find in bottles of cult hot sauce

A SHIPMENT of ice with an estimated street value of more than $300 million was snuck into Australia through hundreds of bottles of sriracha hot sauce.

Four men have been arrested after the air cargo consignment, declared to contain the popular red chilli sauce arrived at a Sydney freight depot from the US.

It was targeted by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers on October 15.

All is not as it seems. Picture: NSW Police
All is not as it seems. Picture: NSW Police

"During a subsequent deconstruction it was found to contain 768 bottles of sriracha chilli sauce, with presumptive testing returning a positive indicator for methylamphetamine (ice)," NSW Police said in a joint statement with the ABF today.

"A preliminary forensic analysis determined the bottles contained about 400kg of methylamphetamine, which has an estimated potential street value of more than $300 million."

But the delivery didn't finish its journey there.

Investigators, with assistance from Australia Federal Police and the ABF, conducted a controlled delivery of the sauce bottles.

A total of 768 bottles were seized. Picture: NSW Police
A total of 768 bottles were seized. Picture: NSW Police

As a result, three men aged 30, 34 and 36 were arrested across Sydney last week.

They were all charged with attempt to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawful import - border-controlled drug, and large commercial drug supply.

The latter charge carries a maximum penalty in NSW of life behind bars.

Police said a fourth man, aged 45, was arrested outside a home in Edensor Park after a raid about 7am today. He was taken to Fairfield Police Station where he is expected to be charged.

Strike Force Diffey was established in September 2018 to investigate co-ordinated money laundering across Sydney and the importation and supply of illicit drugs into NSW.

A sample of the contents. Picture: NSW Police
A sample of the contents. Picture: NSW Police
The ‘sauce’. Picture: NSW Police
The ‘sauce’. Picture: NSW Police
Police said the shipment contained 400 kilograms of ice. Picture: NSW Police
Police said the shipment contained 400 kilograms of ice. Picture: NSW Police
Four men have been arrested following a controlled delivery and a raid. Picture: NSW Police
Four men have been arrested following a controlled delivery and a raid. Picture: NSW Police