$50 Million Drug Bust by Australian Federal Police

Sydney/Perth, Australia ( May 05, 2011

$50 Million Drug Bust by Australian Federal Police

$50 Million Drug Bust by Australian Federal Police

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has seized a record 239kg of methamphetamine in Sydney and Perth, charging four men in another strike against serious and organised crime.

The AFP, along with its domestic law enforcement partners, has now seized more than 1.8tonnes of drugs this financial year and statistics show an increase in captures across all the major drug-types.

The 239kg of methamphetamine would have been worth as much as $50million on Australian streets and was seized in a series of raids across Sydney and Perth in March and April.

The previous largest seizure of methamphetamine by the AFP was 219kg in Melbourne in 2008.

The AFP seized all but 14kg of the methamphetamine in Sydney, also confiscating cash and a loaded 9mm semi automatic pistol.

Three men were arrested in Sydney and charged with trafficking commercial quantities of controlled drugs, while another man was charged in Perth with possession of controlled drugs. These matters are before courts and charges carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

During the investigation, the AFP called upon a standing joint taskforce on organised crime with West Australia Police. The Australian Crime Commission also provided important assistance in Perth.

AFP National Manager Serious and Organised Crime Kevin Zuccato said the investigation demonstrated the effectiveness of the Commonwealth Organised Crime Strategic Framework.

“This investigation strikes a significant blow to organised criminal groups operating in Australia,” Assistant Commissioner Zuccato said.

“The AFP relies on joint agency taskforces and will continue to call on the specific skill-sets of its domestic and international partners whenever required. It’s this combined law enforcement power that will have the biggest impact on fighting organised crime.”

The AFP and Australian law enforcement partners have jointly seized more than 1.8tonnes of drugs this financial year, an increase of more than 600kg on the 2009-10 financial year. This does not account for drug seizures conducted individually by state and territory law enforcement agencies.

The total seizures include 692kg of cocaine (an increase of 76 per cent on 2009-10), 431kg of amphetamine (an increase of 44 per cent) and 315kg of heroin (an increase of 128 per cent).

“Organised crime syndicates no doubt look at Australia and see a lucrative drug market and a strong currency compared to the US dollar,” Assistant Commissioner Zuccato said.

“But they should also be looking over their shoulders. These total seizures demonstrate improvements in the effectiveness and cohesion of Australian law enforcement to combat organised crime and drug syndicates.”

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