Drug enforcement agents seized 585 kilos of methamphetamine, the largest seizure ever of the drug in Australia, aboard a ship that arrived from China and arrested three suspects, police said Thursday.

The suspects - an Australian citizen, a Singaporean national and a Chinese citizen from Hong Kong - appeared in court in Sydney on Thursday, a day after the operation, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The methamphetamine was hidden in a shipment of chemical products from Shenzhen and had a street value of A$440 million (US$450 million), New South Wales police chief Andrew Scipione said.

The investigation of the drug trafficking gang started last September when police received a tip from an anonymous caller about suspicious activity at a Sydney warehouse, the police chief said.

"That one phone call was the one thread that allowed us to pull and unravel a syndicate that will be stopped forever," Scipione said.

Chinese authorities have been contacted and more arrests could be made in the coming days and weeks, the Australian Federal Police, which also participated in the anti-drug operation, said. EFE