Members of an organised crime syndicate importing drug precursor into Australia and exporting firearms into Papua New Guinea were charged for these offences. This was the result of a joint investigation of The Australian Federal Police (AFP), Queensland Police Service (QPS) and Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS). It is also alleged that the syndicate has links to two large-scale cannabis plantations in Northern Queensland.
Ten liters of Phenyl-2-Propanone (P2P) has been seized in the operation and eight people have been charged with various offences. P2P is a precursor used to manufacture drugs such as methamphetamine or ‘ice’. The P2P seized can be used to produce approximately 9.8 kilograms of methamphetamine. The street value of the same is estimated at $2.5 million dollars.
Following the discovery of a large cannabis plantation in a remote location near Herberton in Northern Queensland, AFP and QPS arrested four people. Execution of search warrants resulted in the seizure of approximately 920 plants. On the basis of these findings two men aged 46 and 45 and two women aged 55 and 25 were charged with state drug offences. The AFP with assistance from QPS and ACBPS also seized seven liters of P2P imported to Australia from Papua New Guinea.
AFP along with QPS and ACBPS executed 10 search warrants in Cairns, Herberton, Bamaga and Badu Island (Torres Strait) and recovered three liters of P2P and charged five men as follows. The 45-year-old Herberton man was charged for importing marketable quantity of border controlled precursor. A 39-year-old Bamaga man was charged with importing marketable quantity border controlled precursor.
A 32-year-old Badu Island man was charged with import of a commercial quantity of a border controlled precursor. A 38-year-old Badu Island man was charged with one count of pre-trafficking a commercial quantity of controlled precursors. A 29-year-old Cairns man was charged with aiding and abetting pre-trafficking a commercial quantity of controlled precursors. The offences charged on the accused can attract a maximum fine of up to $850,000 and or 25 years in prison.