Two customs officers have been arrested by the Australian Federal Police for allegedly importing pseudoephedrine through Sydney Airport.
Three other men were also arrested on Tuesday as part of the alleged syndicate. The arrests - as part of an ongoing investigation into corruption at Customs - relate to four separate importations of the drug, which is used to make ‘‘ice’’, in March and June 2012.
The arrests came as 15 search warrants were carried out across Sydney.
Further arrests are expected.
AFP Commissioner Tony Negus told reporters in Canberra that the customs officers conspired with a baggage handler, who is accused of removing suitcases of the drug from the back of the plane to avoid its detection in the baggage hall.
It will be alleged that the officers - one of whom was a supervisor - ‘‘directed resources’’ and monitored the CCTV footage to allow the importation to take place.
‘‘The fact that a supervisor was involved in this process is of certainly concern,’’ Commissioner Negus said.
Those arrested on Tuesday will be charged with a combination of offences, such as abuse of public office, conspiracy to import commercial quantities of precursor chemicals and bribery.
The 40 kilograms of pseudoephedrine seized in the final importation in June had the potential to make an estimated $9.5 million worth of ice.
The total number of those arrested as part of the investigation is now up to 17. This includes four customs officers and one from Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, three others and nine drug couriers.
‘‘I’d like to stress that ... this is not the end of the matter,’’ Commissioner Negus said.