On Monday, an Australian man from a suburb of Sydney led police to the estimated $140 million of crystal methamphetamine in his van after crashing into two police cars, the New South Wales Police Force said.
The cars were parked — right in front of a police station.
Police say the white Toyota HiAce contained more than 270 kilograms — about 600 pounds — of the drug commonly known as “ice,” divided into 13 boxes each with 21 one-kilogram bags. The driver, identified by police as Simon Tu, 26, took off in the Toyota after the crash but was quickly tracked down and arrested.
“This would be one of the easiest drug busts the NSW Police force has ever made,” NSW Police Detective Chief Inspector Glyn Baker told media. “Incredible, absolutely incredible.”
Baker said officers inside New South Wales’ Eastwood Police Station went outside at around 10:30 a.m. local time after hearing a loud bang. They say that one of the police vehicles “sustained significant damage” in a crash, police say, though no one was hurt. Officers checked CCTV footage. An inspector spotted and stopped the suspected vehicle within about an hour, speaking with Tu and then searching the van.
Testing on the substance inside the van’s many boxes pointed to methamphetamine, according to police.
Police seized the vehicle for forensic examination and took the man to Ryde Police Station, authorities said. Tu has been charged with large commercial drug supply, negligent driving and not giving particulars to police.
Detectives have asked the public to give them any dash cam footage that could shed light on the van’s movements that morning. Tu, who could not be immediately reached for comment, is scheduled to appear at Burwood Local Court on Sept. 25.
Tu’s apprehension follows several high-profile busts involving drugs bound for Australia.
Last month, in the country’s biggest-ever seizure of methamphetamine, Australian police said they discovered 1.6 tons of the drug stashed in stereo speakers shipped from Thailand. And earlier this year, six people were arrested after more than 1.7 tons of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin were found in loudspeakers on a ship headed to Australia from California.
Monday’s crash, however, stood out to police for its sheer ridiculousness.
The foiled alleged drug-carrier “certainly had a very, very bad day,” Baker said in a video the New South Wales Police posted to Facebook. “Crashing into a police vehicles with ... drugs on board is somewhat unheard of, and it is an exceptional set of circumstances.”