Man charged after drugs seized

(Australian Federal Police)

A man has been charged after about $22.3 million worth of crystal methamphetamine was allegedly found hidden in shoeboxes in his luggage at Melbourne Airport last week.

The 76-year-old Canadian national arrived on a flight from Los Angeles on June 8 after which he had a large black suitcase examined by Australian quarantine officials who discovered a crystalline substance in about seven shoeboxes.

It will be alleged in court the man claimed the substance was salt.

Australian Border Force (ABF) officers did a presumptive test of the substance which returned a positive result for methamphetamine. The crystal methamphetamine weighed in at about 24 kilograms – the equivalent of about 240,000 street deals.

Australian Federal Police officers seized the drugs and charged the man with importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug, namely methamphetamine, contrary to section 307.1(1) of the Criminal Code Act (Cth).

The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.

The man was remanded in custody.

AFP Detective Inspector Chris Salmon said investigations into the origins of the crystal methamphetamine were continuing and further arrests had not been ruled out.