Australian Federal Police officers with some of the
methamphetamine they seized. Photo by AFP.
A New Zealand-born university student arrested as part of
the largest methamphetamine bust in Australian history is
behind bars tonight.
Tony Ming Ly, 21, had a bail application refused in Sydney
Central Local Court today after police charged him and two
other men with importing A$438 million ($597 million) worth
of methamphetamine, or P.
The 585kg stash uncovered by Federal Police in Sydney last
week is the country's largest ever P bust and police say more
people may be arrested as the investigation continues.
Ly is an Australian national who lives at Canley Vale in
He faced court with co-accused Cheung Tuen, 51, of Hong Kong,
and Boon Cheng Leow, 32, of Singapore, all charged with
attempting to possess a commercial quantity of drugs.
Ly, who is a student at the University of Western Sydney, is
the alleged driver of the syndicate and hired a van the day
before he and the two others were arrested while allegedly
trying to take the drugs from a storage facility, the
Australian Associated Press said.
Australian Federal Police, with the help of Customs and NSW
police, had found the alleged drugs stash last week and kept
surveillance on it.
AFP Commissioner Tony Negus said the investigation was
sparked by a single tip-off from a member of the public in
The investigation led to a "suspicious facility" at West Ryde
in Sydney, where the arrivals of "suspicious containers" were
monitored over several months.
The drugs were found in a chemical shipment from Shenjing in
southern China and the men were arrested while allegedly
trying to collect the drugs.
"The investigation remains ongoing and we've not ruled out
further arrests either here in Australia or overseas," Mr
"We've already been in contact with authorities in China and
a range of further inquiries are under way."
An AFP spokeswoman said New Zealand police had not been
contacted in regard to the investigation.
The massive drugs haul is the largest single seizure of P in
Australia, with the previous record of 300kg in July last
"When the police and the community work together, these are
the sort of results you get," NSW Police Commissioner Andrew
"We're very fortunate that somebody took the time to make
that phone call.
"Make no mistake. This is a hideous, insidious drug.
"This is the sort of drug that sends people mad."
The three men will reappear in court on May 8.