Crystal Meth worth $275 million seized, eight people arrested

Crystal Meth worth $275 million seized, eight people arrested

Victoria Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF) seized 275 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, with a street value of around $275 million and charged eight men responsible for the importation of the illicit drugs into Australia. The accused include one Malaysian and seven Australian citizens.

The Victoria JOCTF consists of trained specialist from the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Victoria Police (VicPOL), the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and Australian Border Force (ABF).

Investigations started following intelligence inputs on a syndicate bringing in drugs concealed in marine containers. JOCTF intercepted and searched three marine containers. They found approximately 275kg of crystal methamphetamine concealed under the floorboards of these three shipping containers

In a controlled operation, the containers were delivered to an industrial estate in Bayswater. Following this a number of people accessed the containers. JOCTF executed search warrants in the Melbourne suburbs of South Yarra, Braybrook, Bayswater, Brunswick, Box Hill and Glen Waverley.

Following this seizure, eight men aged between 24 and 34 were charged. Out of this, three were charged with commercial drug importation offences and five for attempting to possess and trafficking of methamphetamine. The offence can attract a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. It is not known if the drug cartel used the services of a Sydney customs broker to clear the containers.

According to Ian McCartney Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner and  National Manager Organised Crime and Cyber, the persistence and dedication of police and partner agencies resulted in this successful operation. Because of this  two and a half million hits of this insidious drug did not reach the streets. AFP was supported by Chinese authorities on Taskforce Blaze. This in particular investigates criminal syndicates trafficking ice to Australia and internationally.

Cooperation between various agencies at the national and international level is required to book drug syndicates. At the same holistic approach is required to reduce consumption of drugs and bring down demand.

JOCTF in action mode drugs worth $200 million seized

JOCTF in action mode drugs worth $200 million seized

In a well planned and executed operation the Western Australia Joint Organised Crime Task Force seized approximately 200 kilograms of methamphetamine worth approximately $200 million. In this connection 14 people were charged with drug importation offences.  The entire operation was initiated following information from Australian Border Force on a commercial fishing boat off the Western Australia coast near Geraldton.

This was followed by search warrants executed at an address in East Cannington where approximately 150 kilograms of methylamphetamine was seized. Additional warrant activity at an Embleton house resulted in the recovery of approximately 50 kilograms of methylamphetamine. This quantity of methylamphetamine could cause immense harm in Western Australia as it equated to more than two million individual hits. Role of any Sydney customs broker in this importation is not clear.

Western Australia Joint Organised Crime Task Force (WA JOCTF)  is a group of well trained professionals from the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Western Australia Police (WAPOL), Australian Crime Commission (ACC), Australian Border Force (ABF) and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).

Task force allege that the people charged were part of an organized criminal syndicate who transport of the drugs from the fishing boat to Western Australia using small watercraft. All were charged with commercial drug importation offences. The maximum penalty for these offences is life imprisonment.

Those charged include six Malaysian nationals aged between 24 and 54-years-old and eight Chinese nationals aged between 37 and 56-years-old have been. All Chinese nationals were the crew of commercial fishing boat.

According to David Stewart Australian Federal Police acting Assistant Commissioner globalisation of crime has become very complex and sophisticated. Law enforcement agencies need to use highly trained manpower and technology to  face these challenges. To control transnational crime networks agencies need to leveraging and pool men and resources of each agency. Only then agencies can impact on criminal enterprises and protects Australians from harm.

Liquid methamphetamine imported in food tins seized


In a joint operation between the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Border Force (ABF), three litres of liquid methamphetamine was seized. The importation to Australia was done via international mail. A Hong Kong national and a Malaysian national have been charged for their involvement in allegedly importing liquid methamphetamine.

Investigation in this case started when ABF officers examined an air cargo consignment from Hong Kong labelled food items. This was done on the basis information received from reliable sources. The Australian Border Force inspected the packets labelled as food containing peach tins.

The tins on examination showed sign of tampering. Liquid contents in the tin were send for further chemical analysis. Analysis results indicated a positive result for methamphetamine.

Methamphetamine according to national Institute on Drug Abuse, – is a very addictive stimulant drug. It is a powder that can be made into a pill or a shiny rock (called a crystal). The powder can be eaten or snorted up the nose. It can also be mixed with liquid and injected into your body with a needle. Crystal meth is smoked in a small glass pipe.

Effect of this drug vary,  first causes a rush of good feelings, but then users feel edgy, overly excited, angry, or afraid. Meth use can quickly lead to addiction. Negative effects of the drug include medical problems including making your body temperature so high that you pass out, Severe itching, “Meth mouth” – broken teeth and dry mouth and thinking and emotional problems.

On the basis of the test results, the matter was then referred to the Australian Federal Police. Following this Australian Federal Police found out that 21-year-old female Hong Kong national attempted to take possession of the consignment at a residence in Granville, NSW.

On the basis of the proof gathered, she was subsequently arrested. She was then charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine, contrary to section 307.5(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth).

ABF size Methamphetamine concealed in ceramic horse statue

At the end of a three month operation, Australian Border Force officers arrested four men. They also recovered 15 kilograms of methamphetamine. This has ultimately caused serious damage to drug syndicate operating in Melbourne.

Investigation code named Operation Conure began when Australian Border Force officers intercepted a consignment destined for Broadmeadows, Victoria. It was found that the shipment contained ceramic horse statues. Concealed in these statues were 10.9 kilograms of methamphetamine. Information of any Sydney customs broker in this case is not known.

Australian Border Force referred the matter to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to follow up and take required action. As a follow up, controlled delivery of the consignment was conducted and three persons of interest were identified by the police.

On a detailed investigation, Australian Federal Police traced out a fourth person of interest. This was a 30-year-old Sierra Leone man. This man is alleged to be the organiser of the importation of horse statues. Police also found links between this person and a 2.4 kilogram methamphetamine importation in the previous year.

The police allege that these four men were operating a drug syndicate. They were also linked to another methamphetamine seizures in the Melbourne area. In this case the involvement was of 1.5 kilogram methamphetamine.

On the basis of the information and evidence gathered, Australian Federal Police conducted four search warrants across Melbourne. Following this a 30-year-old Sierra Leone man was arrested in Truganina. From Wyndham North the police arrested a 28-year-old Liberian man. This was followed by the arrest of a  26-year-old Liberian man in St Albans and a 21-year-old Australian national in Sunshine.

Those arrested have been charged with importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine, contrary to subsection 307.1(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth). They were also charged for attempting to possess an unlawfully imported substance contrary to subsection 11.1(1) of the Criminal Code(Cth). For the offences charged the maximum penalty is life imprisonment.

Joint Organised Crime Group size 720 liter Methylamphetamine

Joint Organised Crime Group (JOCG) charged four people for their alleged involvement in the importation and manufacture of 720 liter methylamphetamine. The drugs seized has an estimated street value of billion dollars.

On realising major supply of drugs from Asia to Australia, JOCG initiated Operation OVCHARKA.  This was to find out channels and people involved in the drug trade between Asia and Australia.

As a follow up in December 2015 the JOCG executed four search warrants at storage facilities in Hurstville, Rockdale, Miranda and Padstow. This resulted in the seizure of 530 litres of liquid methylamphetamine concealed in art supplies and 2kg crystallised methylamphetamine. Though importers may have used services of Sydney customs broker, details are not known.

A consignment from Hong Kong at the NSW Container Examination Facility was examined by Australian Border Force (ABF) in December 2015. ABF recovered 190 liters of liquid methylamphetamine concealed inside thousands of silicon bra inserts in 86 boxes.

A controlled delivery of the consignment in January 2016 to a storage facility in Burwood resulted in the arrest of a 33-year-old from Hong Kong. He was charged with importing a border controlled drug, contrary to Section 307.1 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995.

Following this the JOCG also found out evidence of drug manufacturing at two Sydney residences in Hurstville and Campsie. These places are alleged to be linked to the liquid methylamphetamine seized in art supplies.

In this connection a  59-year-old male Chinese national was arrested at Hurstville and a 37-year-old male and a 52-year-old female Hong Kong nationals were arrested at Campsie. The arrested three were charged with knowingly taking part in the manufacture of a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug, contrary to section 24 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW).

Commander Chris Sheehan, AFP State Manager NSW said that Operation Ovcharka has stopped a billion dollars-worth of ice from reaching Australian streets. The charges leveled against the accused can attract a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

4.7 kilograms of cocaine concealed in boxes of chocolate seized 26-01-2016 – Page 32

On advice of Australian Border Force (ABF) officers of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) arrested a 27-year-old Malaysian man at Sydney International Airport. He was charged with importing approximately 4.7 kilograms of cocaine in boxes of chocolate.

The accused arrived at Sydney International Airport on a flight from the United Arab Emirates yesterday. Australian Border Force (ABF) officers identified the man as a carrier and followed up. Some importers use services of custom brokers even in the case of banned and illegal items. This is to avoid detection of authorities. In the present case it is not sure if the accused used the services of any Sydney customs broker.

On examining his baggage the officers found four boxes of chocolates and a container of alcohol. The boxes were examined in detail and found pellets inside the boxes which were labelled as chocolates. Chemical analysis and testing confirmed the pellets were positive for cocaine. The material was subsequently send for further testing to determine the exact weight and purity of cocaine.

The man was placed under arrest and was charged with Importing a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs, namely cocaine, contrary to Section 307.1 of the Criminal Code Act (Cth) 1995.

Tim Fitzgerald ABF Regional Commander NSW said ABF have trained manpower, technology and equipment to counter novel methods used by traffickers. Drug cartels are using interesting ways to concealing drugs. They use food packets, toys, books and tools. However Australian law enforcement are all out to stop all drug importation, regardless of how big or small, to prevent these dangerous drugs from reaching Australian community.
Sharon Cowden AFP Sydney Airport Police Commander assured that community safety will be AFP’s top most priority. The force will join hands with partner agencies to target those looking to profit from illicit drugs and organised crime.

 Methamphetamine worth $106 million seized, kingpin arrested

Australian Border Force (ABF) officers foiled an attempt to import approximately 159 kilograms of methamphetamine, with a potential street value of $106.5 million. They also blocked import of 340 kilograms of the drug precursor ephedrine into Australia.

With the arrest of a man alleged to be the kingpin of the drug syndicate, the law enforcement agencies have successfully disrupted operations of the Australian criminal syndicate. The man arrested is reported to be the key man of the syndicate with international links.

In the first week of January Australian Border Force (ABF) officers targeted three sea freight containers that arrived from China. The consignment had a number of bar stools and boxes of soup packets. On deconstruction of the bar stools, ABF officers found a total of 159 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine concealed within the seat-backs. In the soup mix packets 340 kilograms of ephedrine was also found. No Sydney based customs broker was booked in this case.

A detailed investigation code named Operation Serpia was initiated by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) following the detection of the contraband. This operation was the joint effort of Australian Federal Police (AFP) along with Australian Border Force (ABF) and Chinese National Narcotics Control Commission (NNCC).

A controlled delivery of three separate cargo containers to three separate commercial addresses in Peakhurst and Kingsgrove was undertaken by the Australian Federal Police. Subsequently three people a 57-year-old woman, a 45-year-old man and a 50-year-old man were arrested in this connection.

According to estimates by the law enforcement agencies 340 kilograms of ephedrine can be converted to  250 kilograms of methamphetamine. Potential street value of 250 kilograms of methamphetamine is $167.5 million.

The success of this operation was due to the use of sophisticated techniques and resource. The agencies involved were very focused on the international syndicates targeting the Australian market.

Meth worth $15 million concealed in fridge doors seized


A joint agency investigation to stop the flow of illicit substances into Australia resulted in the arrest of a Sydney man. He was charged for the import of 23 kilograms of methamphetamine with a street value of  15.4 million.

On the basis of information received from reliable sources, Australian Border Force (ABF) officers intercepted a consignment containing a refrigerator, a juice blender and a number of water cooling towers at the port of Darwin. On examining, 27 packages were found concealed within the fridge doors.

The packages recovered from the fridge doors contained a white crystalline substance with a total weight of approximately 23 kilograms. Laboratory analysis and testing proved the substance to be methamphetamine (ICE). According government estimates the street value of the drugs can be $15.4 million.

Following this the case was handed over to Joint Taskforce Nemesis for further investigation. A controlled delivery of the consignment was done to a delivery depot in Sydney. A 51-year-old collected the consignment and returned it to his premises in the Sydney suburb of Georges Hall, NSW. Taskforce has not given out the name of any Sydney custom broker.

A search warrant was conducted on an address in Georges Hall where the man was arrested. Joint Taskforce Nemesis discovered fraudulent documents. They also recovered three kilograms of a substance suspected to be methamphetamine and $6,700 cash.

The accused was charged with importing a commercial quantity of border controlled drug methamphetamine and attempt to possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.

According to AFP’s Darwin Office Manager Superintendent Mark Setter, this was a complex operation, and involved a great level of coordination from the time the drugs were intercepted in Darwin to being traced through to Sydney where the arrest has been made. He also said this investigation is an excellent example of the collaborative working arrangements of Northern Territory law enforcement agencies.

Ephedrine concealed in boxes of ceramic paintings seized from drug syndicate


The Australian Border Force (ABF) seized approximately 40 kilograms of prohibited precursor drug ephedrine. With the arrest of three people in Sydney in this connection, the Australian Border Force has successfully disrupted an organised criminal syndicate with links in China and Australia.

On charges related to the importation of 25kg of ephedrine, a 28-year-old man from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), a 22-year-old woman from the PRC, and an 18-year-old Australian man were arrested. Officials of ABF said the ephedrine seized would have a street value of $6 million once converted into methamphetamine (ice). The ABF has not officially disclosed names of any Sydney customs broker in connection with this case.

A second consignment belonging to the same group was intercepted by ABF and seized 15 kilograms of ephedrine. Tim Fitzgerald, ABF Regional Commander NSW said the seizures is an important step forward in disrupting a significant organised criminal network. This cartel had over time, attempted to smuggle drugs through sea and air at different entry points of Australia. This case has sends a clear message to criminal groups that ABF is very vigilant and will not allow drugs, which causes terrible harm to the society, to enter Australia.

At the Container Examination Facility at Port Botany in Sydney, ABF officers intercepted a sea cargo consignment from China. Following this, the consignment was tracked to an address in the Sydney suburb of Ryde. On the basis of the illegal items recovered, ABF officers arrested and charged three people. Contraband seized was 25 kilograms of ephedrine concealed in boxes of ceramic paintings sent from China.

Accused has been charged with the offence of importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled precursor ephedrine without a permit. For the offences committed the maximum penalty can be fine of up to $550,000 and or a jail term of 5 years.

Malaysian nationals arrested with drugs worth $46 million

Malaysian nationals arrested with drugs worth $46 million


Three men were arrested and charged at Melbourne Airport for allegedly importing 70 kilograms of illicit drugs hidden in luggage. This was following an investigation and detection of drugs by Australian Border Force (ABF) and further investigation by Australian Federal Police (AFP).

The accused three, all Malaysian nationals arrived in Australia on a flight from Kuala Lumpur. ABF officers identified anomalies subsequent to examination of the men’s luggage. AFP Forensics continued with  further analysis of the confiscated material.

Chemical analysis proved the material concealed to be 55kg of methamphetamine and 18kg of heroin. These material were concealed within the three suitcases. It is not known if any Sydney custom broker is involved in this case.

Methamphetamine – meth for short – is a very addictive stimulant drug. It is a powder that can be made into a pill or a shiny rock (called a crystal). The powder can be eaten or snorted up the nose. It can also be mixed with liquid and injected into your body with a needle. Crystal meth is smoked in a small glass pipe.

Meth at first causes a rush of good feelings, but then users feel edgy, overly excited, angry, or afraid. Meth use can quickly lead to addiction. It causes medical problems including making your body temperature so high that you pass out, severe itching, “Meth mouth” – broken teeth and dry mouth, thinking and emotional problems.

Heroin is a white or brown powder or a black, sticky goo. It’s an opioid drug made from morphine, a natural substance in the seedpod of the Asian poppy plant. It can be mixed with water and injected with a needle. Heroin can also be smoked or snorted up the nose. All of these ways of taking heroin send it to the brain very quickly. This makes it very addictive.

Major health problems from heroin include miscarriages, heart infections, and death from overdose. People who inject the drug also risk getting infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.

The sized drugs has a potential street value of $36.8 million and $10.1 million respectively. Later on AFP officers arrested all three men after conducting a controlled delivery of the suitcases to a hotel in Melbourne. Two of the men were charged for importation of a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs and attempting to possess a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs.