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Mexican drug cartels are pushing tonnes of methamphetamine into Australia, with North America producers overtaking Southeast Asian countries as the biggest suppliers of the illicit substance in the country.

The Australian Federal Police revealed at least 70 per cent of Australia’s methamphetamine market is now supplied by North American countries like Mexico, United States and Canada.

In April 2023, the Mexican navy shows boxes of liquid meth concealed in bottles of tequila that were seized at the port of Manzanillo. Picture: Secretaria de Marina/ Semar
In April 2023, the Mexican navy shows boxes of liquid meth concealed in bottles of tequila that were seized at the port of Manzanillo. Picture: Secretaria de Marina/ Semar

In 2022-23, the AFP and its foreign counterparts stopped more than 23.6 tonnes of meth produced in North America from hitting Australian shores.

This included 4.36 tonnes that was seized in Australia.

In that same year, Australians consumed 10.5 tonnes of the drug, which was the second most consumed drug in the country, according to the National Wastewater Monitoring Drug Program.

Recent intelligence revealed it was cheaper for organised crime gangs to procure meth from North America than South East Asia.

The price for producing one kilogram of meth in Mexico was about $1000, while in Myanmar prices could stretch from $3000 to $5000 for the same amount, authorities said.

In Australia, methylamphetamine produced in North American countries had overtaken drugs which originated from Southeast Asian countries, the AFP said. Picture: Chris Kidd
In Australia, methylamphetamine produced in North American countries had overtaken drugs which originated from Southeast Asian countries, the AFP said. Picture: Chris Kidd

AFP commander Jared Taggart said Australia was an enticing market for organised crime groups who were exploiting people to derive large profits.

He said cheaper wholesale prices and Mexican cartels’ ability to effectively conceal drugs were likely contributing factors to the increased volume of North American meth in Australia.

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