Police have discovered a record shipment of fentanyl in Melbourne
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What is fentanyl?
Fentanyl is an opioid, meaning it blocks pain receptors in the brain. It's commonly used as pain relief within medical settings.
The drug is highly addictive and fast acting. If taken illicitly has potentially fatal consequences.
How much fentanyl did the police seize?
The APF called a press conference on Monday to announce they had found 11kg of fentanyl and 30kg of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of over $27 million.
The illicit drugs had been sent from Canada, hidden in wooden machinery, and arrived in the Port of Melbourne late last year.
The ABF began investigating the shipping container in February and conducted a two-week operation to seize and investigate the substances found onboard.
According to the police, this seizure of 11 kilograms of pure fentanyl has prevented over 5 million lethal doses from ending up on the streets of Melbourne.
AFP Acting Commander Anthony Hall expressed concerns about the dangers the opioid could have within the community.
“If such a large amount of fentanyl was in the hands of Australian-based criminal networks driven by greed, it could have passed uncontrolled and hidden into the community with possibly deadly results," he said.
Previously, authorities had only ever seized up to 30 grams of fentanyl, making this the biggest seizure to take place.
The AFP and ABF will now work with the Department of Home Affairs to identify those responsible for the shipment.
For free and confidential advice about drug addiction treatment or support services, call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.