Leaky NSW toilet pipe leads to $47m drug haul
Tradies working on a leaking toilet pipe in a Sydney apartment alerted police to more than 220kg of the drug ice as well and over $1 million in cash.
Police were called to the Canterbury unit in the city's southwest, on July 9 last year, after workers fixing the pipe found bags of cash and a crystal substance in an open cupboard.
"I don't think any tradesman anticipates going to work and tripping over hundreds of kilos of drugs," Detective Acting Superintendent Stuart Gordon said on Wednesday.
The massive cache was "a lot of quantity of drugs", he told reporters.
The tradesmen had been carrying out work at the request of a Strata company.
After searching the unit and a garage beneath the unit complex, police seized 15 cardboard boxes containing almost 220kg of crystal methamphetamine (ice), with an estimated value of $A44 million (NZ$47 million).
They also found 95 grams of MDMA and 35g of cocaine, along with chemicals consistent with the manufacture of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GBH), gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) and ice.
Almost $A1.15 million in cash was also found in the unit and garage - some of it stashed in a grocery bag.
Investigators believe the unit was being used as a "safe house" where people linked to organised crime stored illicit items.
"What we're looking at is organised crime," Mr Gordon said.
"These people are a risk to the public every day."
Police are now appealing for information and have released images of the cash and drugs as well as CCTV footage of a man they want to interview about the matter.
The man is seen walking along Minter St, Canterbury about 8.10pm on July 9, 2021.
He is described as being of Asian appearance, about 170cm tall, of thin build, aged between 25-30, with short black hair.
Det Act Supt Gordon said police spoke with a "large number of people" on July 9, adding "whether we spoke to that man is unclear".
"We still are dependent on information from the public."