2 men charged over $68 million drug haul in Sydney

SYDNEY (AP) - Two Canadian-Vietnamese dual citizens have been charged with smuggling heroin and methamphetamine worth 75 million Australian dollars ($68 million) hidden in a consignment of frozen fish fillets shipped from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney, officials said Monday.

The men, aged 57 and 55, appeared in a Sydney court on Friday on multiple charges related to the shipment of 88 kilograms (194 pounds) of heroin and 21 kilograms (46 pounds) of methamphetamine, a joint statement by five law enforcement and border protection agencies said. They face life in prison if convicted.

The 57-year-old was identified as a suspected drug smuggler when he arrived in Sydney early this month, the statement said.

He was linked to a shipping container packed with 1.7 metric tons (1.9 tons) of frozen fish that was intercepted on the Sydney waterfront last week, the statement said.

Officials found that ice packs hidden beneath the fish were filled with liquid forms of the illicit drugs.

The drugs were replaced with harmless substances before the men took delivery. They were arrested in western Sydney, the statement said.

The statement did not reveal the men's names or say whether they entered pleas to the charges.