Someone in Australia was getting more than just masks in their care package. Two Canadian face mask shipments were packed with COVID-19 essentials. However, they were also packed with a whole bunch of crystal meth.

According to a May 22 news release from the Australian Border Force, the first package arrived from somewhere within Canada. Border agents opened it on May 6 and found boxes of masks and bottles of hand sanitizer.

Inspectors then discovered a false bottom on the box. Underneath was a black, plastic, vacuum-sealed bag containing a crystalline substance. 

Testing done by border officials determined that the substance was methamphetamine. There was an entire kilogram inside.

A second package originating from Canada arrived at the Sydney Gateway Facility on May 8. Upon inspection, it was also found to contain masks and bottles of sanitizer.

This time, though, the bottles were filled with a crystalline substance that also turned out to be methamphetamine.

The amount was a bit less than the first package, with 800 grams in total being split between two bottles.

The bottles of sanitizer were from Walmart's Equate brand and Rexall's store brand. Both of them display English and French on their labels, indicating that they most likely came from Canadian sources.

"We know criminals will go to any length to smuggle drugs into the country, so it’s no surprise they’re trying to use in-demand items such as masks and hand sanitizer to hide them in," ABF Superintendent for International Mail, Cargo Clearance & Systems Support John Fleming said in a statement.

He added that despite COVID-19, border officials are still inspecting everything that comes into the country and continuing to stop the flow of illegal drugs from crossing the border.

According to Health Canada, some of the long-term adverse effects of methamphetamine include a weakened immune system, erratic or bizarre thought patterns, and hallucinations.

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