A drug dealer is on the run after he escaped when his Breaking Bad-style meth lab inside a Sydney apartment blew up.
The alleged drug dealer’s escape route from the burning apartment was highlighted by police fingerprinting dust throughout the building and stairwell.
A triggered fire alarm led police to uncover 60 kilograms of methamphetamine from a unit block in Sydney on Monday.
Pictured: The Sydney meth lab where police uncovered 60kg of methamphetamine
A drug dealer is on the run after he escaped when his Breaking Bad-style meth lab inside a Sydney apartment blew up
A triggered fire alarm led police to uncover 60 kilograms of methamphetamine from a unit block in Sydney on Monday
A couple in the unit next door, Arun Mohamkumar and Mathu Shanmugam, said they were shocked to discover they were living next to a drug lab
Fire and Rescue were called to a unit block in Hazlewood Place, Epping just before midday, where they found what police allege was a clandestine laboratory.
A couple in the unit next door, Arun Mohamkumar and Mathu Shanmugam, said they were shocked to discover they were living next to a drug lab.
‘I couldn’t believe it when I found out, there was nothing suspicious at all about it,’ Mr Mohamkumar said.
‘We occasionally saw the people come and go, but it was very quiet – we wouldn’t know who was living there.’
‘We would have chats with some of the other neighbours but they kept to themselves.
Mr Mohamkumar said the occupants in the unit raided by police had been there since about mid-2017.
The unit fire led detectives to uncover an alleged drug lab in Epping unit block
Neighbours were evacuated as a safety precaution before the laboratory was dismantled
A warning sticker placed on the front door of the alleged meth lab by the State Crime Command
‘It’s usual a pretty quiet area…it’s just a shock to hear this was happening.’
Specialist police officers later attended the scene to dismantle the lab before local detectives seized an estimated $30million worth of a crystal substance believed to be ice.
Neighbours were evacuated as a safety precaution before the laboratory was dismantled.
An alleged clandestine drug lab in a unit block (pictured) was uncovered in Epping on Monday morning
Firefighters uncovered the set up after being called out to a triggered fire alarm at Hazlewood Place
Police then attended the scene and neighbours were evacuated before the lab could be dismantled
The quiet street in Sydney’s north was flooded with emergency services about midday on Monday
Shortly before emergency services arrived, a man aged between 20 and 30 is believed to have left the area.
Police say he has a solid build and is about 180cm tall with olive skin. The man has dark hair and may have burns to his face.
Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Ryde detectives on 9858 9299 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Inside the alleged drug lab was 60 kilograms of a crystalised substance
Police allege the substance was methamphetamine (pictured: neighboring residents of the unit block being evacuated. Daily Mail does not imply neighbours had any involvement )
Police are now searching for a man believed to have left the area shortly before emergency services arrived
The man, believed to be in his 20s, is solidly built with olive skin and may have facial burns
HOW TO RECOGNISE A DRUG LAB: THE NSW POLICE GUIDE
The drug manufacturing process involves mixing, breaking down or changing the structure of precursor substances using other chemicals and heat sources, and this creates unusual odours. In particular, Drug Squad detectives often notice a strong acetone smell when attending Ice labs.
Chemical containers and waste
Clandestine drug laboratories create a lot of toxic waste, and it’s often stored onsite in buckets or dumped nearby. That’s not to mention the chemical storage containers often found discarded in or around lab sites.
Blacked out windows
Drug manufacturers will often cover or black out the windows, either with window coverings or foil, to hide their illicit activity from the neighbours.
Hoses and pipes in strange places
Many drug manufacturers will use household items to make their drugs, including hoses, pipes and containers bought from hardware stores. An excess of these types of items around a property could be a sign of illicit activity taking place.
Vehicles arriving at odd hours
Criminals don’t just work during business hours. The drug manufacturing process requires regular checking, so it’s not uncommon for those involved in the manufacture of Ice to come and go. Unusual vehicle movements could also be a sign of drug supply occurring at a property.