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.