Queensland man charged over meth import

This is a joint media release between Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force and Queensland Police Service

A Gold Coast man has been charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of methamphetamine after a joint operation by the Queensland Joint Organised Crime Taskforce yesterday.

The 37-year-old man was charged by investigators on Tuesday (30 June 2020), after the drugs were found in an air freight consignment by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers.

On 26 June 2020, ABF officers in Sydney intercepted a shipment from the United States addressed to a property in Maroochydore, sparking a joint agency investigation.

Police will allege the package included eight litres of liquid methamphetamine, disguised as vitamin supplements. The matter was referred to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for investigation.

On Tuesday officers from the AFP, the ABF and Queensland Police Service (QPS), including ABF detector dogs and their handlers, executed search warrants at a business in Forest Glen and a residential address in Maroochydore.

During the execution of the search warrants, officers also allegedly located a quantity of illegal steroids.

The 37-year-old man was charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug contrary to sub-sections 11.1(1) and 307.5(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth).

He is next due to appear in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on 4 September 2020.

The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.

A 38-year-old man was also arrested during the search warrants for breach of bail conditions and possession of a dangerous drugs (steroids), contrary to Section 9 of the Drugs Misuse Act (Qld).

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Crime Northern Command Stephen Jay said the damage done by methamphetamine to the body and to the wider community is vast.

“We know it forms physical and physiological dependency, but it also contributes to domestic violence and violence against paramedics, hospital staff and police.

“Our work with other agencies to remove dangerous drugs like meth from circulation on the streets is protecting the health and well-being of our community,” Detective Acting Superintendent Jay said.

ABF Commander for Enforcement Command, Graeme Grosse, said the genesis of the operation was a border detection by ABF officers.

“Our border officers work hard every day to detect prohibited items coming into Australia – and the investigations that follow such detections are effective because of our close relationship with QPS and AFP. This allows us to work together so criminals who attempt such acts are brought to justice,” Commander Grosse said.

Detective Superintendent Col Briggs of the Queensland Police Service Drug and Serious Crime Group said:

“This joint operation has removed a vast quantity of drugs from the hands of criminal networks who make significant profits at the expense of our community.”

“The Queensland Joint Organised Crime Taskforce has effectively reduced the supply and production of drugs, in turn disrupting the flow of illicit substances on our streets,” Detective Superintendent Briggs said.

The QJOCTF is a multi-agency taskforce comprised of members of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Queensland Police Service (QPS), Australian Border Force (ABF), Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), Australian Taxation Office (ATO), and Australian Transaction Reporting and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). The role of the QJOCTF is to investigate transnational serious and organised crime threats impacting Australia.

For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services, call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.

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