’Volatile’ meth lab busted near NSW fires
Police have busted an alleged meth lab which they say had the potential to cause "catastrophic damage" given its proximity to bushfires in southern NSW.
More than 900 items related to drug manufacture and 45 litres of methylamphetamine oil were found by detectives during a raid on a rural property at Harolds Cross, south of Braidwood, on Saturday morning, NSW Police said on Monday.
Detective Superintendent John Watson said the methylamphetamine oil translates to about 40 kilograms of the drug "ice" with a potential street value of about $34 million.
The scale of the laboratory, which was discovered in two sheds on the property, was described as "significant" given the commercial-grade items and their capacity to make "multi kilo" amounts of drugs, he added.
Det Supt Watson said the location of the lab - within 20 kilometres of bushfires on the south coast - made it more dangerous to nearby residents.
"The location of this property is not far from bushfires still impacting the southern region and we know illicit substances, such as ice, are manufactured in volatile environments, which presents serious risks of explosions and contamination," he said in a statement on Monday.
"The activities we have observed at this site show a blatant disregard for human life and the potential to cause catastrophic damage."
During the raid, police arrested a 37-year-old man from South Australia and a 38-year-old NSW man.
Both were charged with manufacturing a prohibited drug.
"We have hit this syndicate right at the heart of the operation and we've taken out their hub, their production factory," Det Supt Watson said.
The two men are due to appear at Queanbeyan Local Court later on Monday.