Mexican man Juan Manuel Plaza Lopez, 42, fronted Melbourne Magistrate’s Court on Thursday after $566million worth of ice was seized in the largest onshore bust of drugs coming from Mexico.
Lopez was charged over an alleged plot to hide 755kg of ice in 18 pallets of cow hides.
The Australian Federal Police are trying to figure out whether or not the infamous Sinaloa cartel once headed by Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán was linked to the bust, Herald Sun reported.
El Chapo’s deadly Mexican drug cartel is flooding Melbourne streets with meth, aiming to cash in massive profits to be made in Australia
On Thursday, a Mexican man appeared in a Melbourne court after $566million worth of ice hidden in cow hides was seized
The Sinaloa cartel was run by Guzmán, 62, who was recently sentenced to life in prison, plus 30 years.
Authorities now believe members of El Chapo’s family are seeking control of the drug trafficking, money laundering and organised crime syndicate.
Police fear Sinaloa and rival cartel Jalisco New Generation are working with crime groups in Australia, including some bikie gangs.
Over the past year, police have made a number of seizures of meth shipped from Mexico to Australia.
In January, police intercepted 1.7 tonnes of meth in California, which were bound for Melbourne.
In May, 480 kilograms of meth was discovered in Sydney.
Head of Australian Federal Police’s Mexico office Detective Superintendent Conrad Jensen said he had noticed a change in operations.
‘A few years ago we were talking about shipments of 50kg to 100kg — whereas now we are talking about very large seizures which reflects the overall methamphetamine trade from Mexico,’ he said.
‘Australia is seen as a lucrative market for the drug cartels, with a significant price differential between it and the US market.’
Superintendent Jensen noted there were at least three cartel factions operating side by side and still determining which one would take the lead.
Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force uncovered the 755kg of ice hidden in cow hides
The Australian Federal Police are trying to figure out whether or not the infamous Sinaloa cartel was linked to the bust
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