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4.1 kilograms of meth hidden behind painting seized in Canada-Australia case

An Australian man faces drug charges after Canada Border Services Agency officials found 4.1kg of methamphetamine in a package allegedly destined for the man's home

Cooperation between Canadian, American and Australian police has led to the seizure of 4.1 kilograms of methamphetamine and the arrest of a man in Western Australia.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers working in an unnamed air cargo facility located a package bound for Australia and located methamphetamine inside.

Further investigation was done by CBSA, RCMP, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations and the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

The package, which contained a painting with drugs on the inside, was taken apart.

Police put a placebo in its place, according to a press release. Authorities didn't explain what the placebo was, although it's generally understood to be a substance designed to have no therapeutic value.

When the package arrived in Australia, AFP conducted a controlled delivery to its destination in Embleton. A search warrant was then executed at the residence. 

Police allegedly found the placebo in a pillow case buried in the garden and parts of the painting discarded behind garbage cans.

“Our goal is to stop the flow of illicit drugs from overseas and onto Australian streets and prosecute anyone involved in this dirty trade,” AFP Detective Inspector Andrea Coleman said in a statement. “Methamphetamine use causes immense harm, not only to users but to the wider community.”

Police say the 4.1 kilos could have been sold as street-level deals to 41,000 people, netting those involved around $4 million.

A 38-year-old man faces charges of attempting to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported border controlled drug.

If convicted, he faces a potential maximum penalty of life imprisonment.