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Australians charged with smuggling $8 m in drugs from YVR

RICHMOND (NEWS1130) – Five men from Australia have been arrested after $8 million in drugs were found in a cargo holding area near Vancouver International Airport.

Border guards seized six kg of cocaine, 12 kg of ecstasy and 2 kg of meth.

Renee Ribout with the Canada Border Services Agency says the drugs were hidden in a commercial oven stored in a warehouse on Miller Road near the airport.

“On Dec. 30, 2011, border services officers examined an outbound shipment, declared as a commercial range, destined for Australia,” Ribout said.  “Officers used a fiberscope to visually inspect the inside of the riser frame, where inconsistencies were discovered.”

Australian police were tipped off about the drugs when they arrived in Sydney earlier this month.

Officers have been raiding homes and making arrests in Australia ever since.

In addition to the drugs, police seized $17,900 in cash and a large number of weapons, including throwing knives and a Taser.

“This is yet another operation that shows the Australian Federal Police [AFP] and its domestic and international partner agencies are united in their commitment to combating organized crime and have the capability to target and shut down transnational crime syndicates,” said AFP Commander Peter Sykora.

The men who were arrested range in age from 24 to 54. If convicted, they could be sentenced to life in prison.