New South Wales police have arrested three men after they allegedly imported meth and cocaine concealed in Chupa Chups lollipops and other lollies.
In November 2020, border force officers intercepted three packages containing drugs that arrived at a Sydney mail centre from the United States.
The police force said they established Strike Force Arced to investigate the importation and subsequently found a further 16 parcels containing drugs over the next five months.
The drugs included 5.83 kilograms of methylamphetamine and 655 grams of cocaine which have an estimated potential street value of AU$3.5 million.
The seizures included methylamphetamine packaged as lollipops, including Chupa Chups, and cocaine pressed as lollies.
On Wednesday, detectives executed a series of search warrants at properties in the Northern Beaches, Sydney's CBD and Ryde about 6am.
As a result, three men aged 21, 31 and 49 were arrested and taken to Manly Police station.
Northern Beaches police area commander Supt Patrick Sharke said the manufacturing and packaging of the drugs was "sophisticated" and posed a significant risk to the community.
"They could have easily been mistaken for the sweets they were disguised as by both children and adults," he said.
"It is very concerning given the drugs were uncut and had a potency that could potentially cause serious injury or death if ingested."
Supt John Fleming from the Australian Border Force said officers are aware of the different tactics used by criminals.
"Criminals might think that by using a scattergun approach to sending numerous packages containing drugs to different locations the packages will be missed by ABF officers, but that's not the case," he said.