Police have a clearer picture of drug network after meth find

More than $16.3 million of methylamphetamine is not on the streets after it was seized as part of the Joint Agency Ice Strike Team (JAIST).

In February 11 pieces of artwork were detected and seized by Australian Border Force after an inspection of cargo. Conducting analysis they established it contained methylamphetamine.

In June, JAIST investigators conducted further analysis and examination of the items. After breaking it into smaller pieces, the 11 items weighed 32.75 kg and was found to be a mixture of methamphetamine and some other binding/cutting agents.

Officer in Charge of the Drug and Organised Crime Task Force, Detective Chief Inspector Darren Fielke said Forensic Science determined the methamphetamine was of good quality.

“This seizure equates to 32,750 street deals with a street value of approximately $16.3million,” said

“This seizure highlights how innovative importers and traffickers of methamphetamine can be to get their product in.”

Officer in Charge of the Serious and Organised Crime Branch, Detective Superintendent Steve Taylor said although no arrests were made, it’s a success to get this quantity of drugs off the street.

“Although no one was arrested, this result is still part of a harm minimisation strategy to remove drugs from the streets,” Detective Superintendent Taylor said.

“Organised crime need to be nervous, we have a lot of good people in the branch working together to stop these criminal networks.

“Crime in the community is not just a policing problem, it is our job to stop it but the

community should step up and say something if they see it.”

AFP Detective acting Superintendent Gavin Stone said since the JAIST formed in early 2019, the team has seized more than 840 kilograms of illicit drugs.

“This has not only prevented the harm caused by the use of these drugs, but stopped innocent people being hurt by other crimes – such as robberies and burglaries – that no doubt would have been committed by those trying to scrape together money for their next hit,” Superintendent Stone said.

“It has also prevented crime syndicates from making tens of millions of dollars in expected profits, which could have been used to fund other illegal activities – including more drug importations or gun purchases.”

Background

The Joint Agency Ice Strike Team (JAIST) is made up of SA Police, Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Australian Taxation Office, Department of Home Affairs, and Australian Transactions and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).

Since it was formed in February 2019 it has resulted in the:

– Arrest of 28 people for drug related offending

– Discovery of three clan labs.

– Seizure of 79 kg of methylamphetamine which would result in 790,000 street deals with a street value of $39.5million.

– 44kg of precursor chemicals to make methylamphetamine.

– Seizure of 560kg of 1,4-Butanediol – a similar drug to GHB or Fantasy, with a street value of $2.2million.

– 20,000 LSD tabs.

– 19kg of prescription drugs (predominantly steroids).

– $35,000 cash.

– 27kg of other drugs (cocaine, steroids for example).

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