Clandestine meth lab uncovered on Sydney's north shore


A Canadian man on a visitor visa is alleged to be behind a covert lab that extracted large amounts of methamphetamine concealed in imported cookie tins and soup cans.

Police raided a property in Gladesville on Wednesday morning, locating approximately 50kg of the crystallised drug hidden inside metal food containers as well as equipment consistent with producing the illicit substance.

Shortly after the raid, officers arrested a 43-year-old man at a home in Pymble, seizing cash, mobile phones, jewellery and electronic devices.

He was taken to Hornsby Police Station and charged with manufacturing and supplying a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug.

Organised crime squad commander Peter Faux said the man had been on a visitor visa for the past year, coming and going from Australia during that time.

"He's been here for the last several weeks, in which time we've focused our investigation on him," he told reporters.

Detective Superintendent Faux said the 50kg of meth found at the property had a street value of about $25 million.

Detectives would work with their counterparts in Canada's national police service and Australian Border Force officers to target others involved in the drug supply operation.

Additional search warrants were executed at storage sheds in Gladesville and Petersham on Wednesday afternoon, with officers locating several more boxes of imported food products, also believed to contain meth.

Police allege the laboratory was used to extract drugs that had been concealed in the food tins for importation.

Det Supt Faux said approximately 1500 tins had been seized and they could be concealing an extra 180kg of the drug.

"It was obviously an extremely complex concealment," he said.

"They've gone to great detail in concealing the prohibited drugs and bringing them into the country via legitimate food products.

"No matter how complex this process was, what (police) did show is that we are equal ... to not only identifying these complex processes of concealment but also disrupting and dismantling those syndicates that are attempting to bring drugs into the country."