’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.

Two men have been charged following the discovery of a large-scale clan lab in the state’s Southern Tablelands. Picture: NSW Police
Two men have been charged following the discovery of a large-scale clan lab in the state’s Southern Tablelands. Picture: NSW Police

 

The lab was found at a rural property at Harolds Cross, about 30km south west of Braidwood. Picture: NSW Police
The lab was found at a rural property at Harolds Cross, about 30km south west of Braidwood. Picture: NSW Police

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."

Police located 45 litres of methylamphetamine oil and a large-scale clandestine laboratory in several sheds. Picture: NSW Police
Police located 45 litres of methylamphetamine oil and a large-scale clandestine laboratory in several sheds. Picture: NSW Police

 

Police said the items inside the sheds had the potential to cause “catastrophic” damage due to its proximity to the recent bushfires. Picture: NSW Police
Police said the items inside the sheds had the potential to cause “catastrophic” damage due to its proximity to the recent bushfires. Picture: NSW Police

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.