Australian police guard the seized drugs (WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
Australian police guard the seized drugs William West/AFP/Getty Images

Australian police have pulled off one of the biggest drugs busts in the country's history, seizing three tonnes of narcotics including MDMA and methamphetamine with a total value of AUS$1.2bn (€960m).

The 1,917kg haul of MDMA was the second-largest ever seized by Australian police, while the 849kg meth seizure was the largest in Australian history.

The drugs were discovered hidden inside a furniture container shipped in from Germany on 19 November.

Police then tracked the delivery to an address in Blacktown, and from there to Smithfield where they seized the drugs, and arrested six men aged between 23 and 34.

Three of the arrested, Joshua Hamlin, 34, Mehmet Ozgen, 23, and Rene Arancibia appeared in Parramatta Bail Court, where they were refused bail to return on Wednesday.

The remaining three are to appear in court tomorrow.

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin told reporters that a coalition of organised crime gangs were being targeted over the seizure, and that the position of those arrested within the gangs was yet to be established.

"You can't import nearly three tonnes of narcotics in this country without a large and sophisticated operation," Mr Colvin said.

"This obviously has linkages overseas that will take us… into Europe and parts of Asia."

The drugs were seized as part of a four month-long targeted international police operation, also involving German authorities.

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said the seizure was "enormous".

"That's organised crime at its worst, that's law enforcement at its best," he said of the bust.

'Make no doubt about it, the numbers are enormous. My advice is go somewhere else. Go to another country.'

"When we talk about two tonnes of MDMA we are talking about upwards of 10 million individual doses," Mr Scipione said.

"Don't bring your evil poison to Australia. If we can't make you see the light, we'll make you feel the heat," he said.

The biggest ever Australian drugs bust was made in 2007, when 15 million ecstasy tablets weighing more than 4.4 tonnes and valued at AUS$122m were seized hidden in tomato cans shipped from Naples to Melbourne.

In a UN report earlier this year, Australia came top of the global list for recreational drug use.