Another attempted Drug importation to Australia is caught by Australian Border Force. But how much are they missing?

Brisbane woman use web and bitcoin to import drugs from UK to Australia

Joint investigation between the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Border Force (ABF) resulted in rising charges against a 32-year-old Brisbane woman. Charges are in relation to drug importation and trafficking offences.
ABF officers in December 2017 detected a small amount of MDMA in a parcel consignment from the United Kingdom to an address in Brisbane. After few weeks ABF officers detected Fentanyl in another package from the United Kingdom to the same consignee.

Investigation and search warrants were executed on a residential premises in Brisbane on Friday, 2 February 2018, after the case was referred to AFP. The exercise resulted in the seizure of further quantities of MDMA, LSD, Dimethylthyltrytamine (DMT) and Oxycodone.

On the basis of the results of the raid, the woman was subsequently arrested and charged. Charges were two counts of importing a marketable quantity of a border-controlled drug, namely Fentanyl and MDMA contrary to section 307.2 of the Criminal Code Act (Cth) 1995.

Also four counts of importing a border controlled drug, namely MDMA and Cannabis contrary to section 307.3 of the Criminal Code Act (Cth) 1995. In addition, nine counts of state related offences under Qld Drugs Misuse Act 1986.

According to police the woman used a dark web portal and crypto-currency Bitcoin. These modern means of communication and payment options were used to order, pay and organise multiple shipments of illicit drugs from United Kingdom. This is a clear indication of the use of modern technology for illegal activities. Since non-conventional methods were used for importation, it is not likely that services of a local Brisbane customs broker was used.

Justine Gough, AFP Commander Manager, Crime Operations said Australians are using harmful substances like Fentanyl and MDMA with serious implications. He warned that taking these substances, often from an unknown origin, can be extremely dangerous for your health, with potential serious side effects, even death.

ABF Regional Commander Queensland, Terry Price, said that ABF continue to refine targeting and testing to make sure this deadly drug doesn’t make its way into the hands of Australian users. He also felt people ultimately need to take responsibility for their own health and well-being.

Multi agency operations result in seizure of 50 KG Meth

Coordinated operations of Western Australia Police Force, Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and AUSTRAC showed interesting results. Three separate operations targeting international, interstate and suburban drug distribution networks resulted in the seizure of 50 kilograms of methamphetamine.

According to Police Commissioner Chris Dawson, the seizures and arrests are examples of what could be achieved when law enforcement agencies worked together. Impact of Methamphetamine is devastating on the community. Government agencies are working on to stop the supply of this damaging drug into Australia.

Officers seized 31 kilograms of methamphetamine and arrested three people at Port of Dampier. Investigation into the drug trafficking syndicate by the Joint Organised Crime Taskforce began in mid-2017.

Allegation is that drugs were imported to the North West of the State via a bulk cargo carrier and brought ashore. Charges were raised against three Bulgarian nationals, a 42-year-old woman, a 47-year-old man and a 39-year-old man for importation of a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.

A 33-year-old Sydney man was arrested at Perth Domestic Airport for possession of 20 kilograms of methamphetamine. The man flew from Sydney to Perth under a false name with the drugs concealed in his luggage. This was part of a joint action of WA Police Operation supported by the Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force to stop illicit drugs entering or leaving WA.

Executing a search warrant at a residence in Armadale, Organised Crime Squad officers seized 527 grams of methamphetamine, two hand guns and more than $50,000 cash. On the basis of drugs found in hidden compartments in the house, a 41-year-old man and 24-year-old woman have been charged with serious drug and firearm offences.

The operations were successful since it was focused on organised crime syndicate that was taking active steps to avoid detection. Street value of the drugs seized is more than $ 25 million. It is not known if services of a customs broker in Adelaide was used in bringing in methamphetamine into the country.

Dr John Moss, AUSTRAC’s National Manager, Intelligence pointed out that as Australia’s financial intelligence agency, AUSTRAC facilitates the sharing of financial intelligence and information. This sharing of information between various law enforcement agencies is one of the reasons for successful investigations.

 

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