Media Release: Joint operation nets 109kg of pseudoephedrine
Release Date: Wednesday, August 15 2012, 04:40 PM
This is a joint media release with the Austrailan Federal Police, Victoria Police, Australian Crime Commission and Australian Customs and Border Protection.
A Victorian based multi-agency taskforce has disrupted an international drug syndicate seizing a large quantity of precursor narcotics in Melbourne.
The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF) comprises the Victoria Police, the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) and was established to target organised crime syndicates impacting upon Victoria.
Police arrested three men in Melbourne today following the joint investigation into the trafficking, manufacture and importation of illicit narcotics into Australia. The operation began following information received from Australian Customs and Border Protection Services and the New South Wales Police (NSWP) that prompted the JOCTF to initiate Operation Diamondback.
During the investigation approximately 109 kilograms of pseudoephedrine was seized. Officers also seized a quantity of chemicals and equipment believed to be used in the manufacture of drugs.
It is estimated that 109kg of pseudoephedrine has the potential to manufacture 77.5 kilograms of methamphetamine, commonly known as ‘ice’, which would equate to a street value of up to approximately $77 million.
The Task Force has charged three Canadian nationals, two 23-year-old men and a 46-year-old man, with the following offences:
Pre-trafficking commercial quantities of a controlled precursor, namely pseudoephedrine, contrary to section 306.2 (1) of the Criminal Code Act (Cth); and
Possess equipment for the commercial manufacture of a controlled drug, namely amphetamine, contrary to section 308.4 (1) of the Criminal Code Act (Cth).
The three men will appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court today.
Manager Serious and Organised Crime David Sharpe said the arrests are a significant result for the Victorian based JOCT.
“This successful outcome from the Task Force is another example of the strength of the multi-agency Task Force approach being adopted by law enforcement nationwide. By coordinating our resources and efforts significant results are being achieved in the fight against organised crime.
“These Task Forces also recognise the importance of partnering with industry bodies to disrupt national and international organised crime syndicates impacting upon Australia. The Task Force worked closely on this occasion with Crown Casino Melbourne throughout the investigation,” Commander Sharpe said.
Detective Superintendent Gerard Ryan from the Victoria Police Crime Department said this result sends a clear message to crime syndicates.
“Operations like this show law enforcement is not bound by jurisdictional borders and Victoria Police and our partner agencies will aggressively pursue anyone who thinks our streets are an easy mark for the illicit drug trade.”
ACC National Manager Intervention Warren Gray said that collaboration was a key focus of the ACC in uniting the fight against organised crime.
“This investigation further highlights the effectiveness of a nationally coordinated response against the global threat that is organised crime. We will now utilise the intelligence and knowledge gleaned from this investigation to collectively harden Australia against these threats.”
“This successful operation is testament to the co-operation between Customs and Border Protection officers and their law enforcement partners,” Acting National Manager Cargo and Maritime Targeting, Alan Sullivan said.
Investigations are ongoing and police have not ruled out further arrests.
AFP National Media (02) 6131 6333
Australian Crime Commission Media (02) 6243 6843
Customs and Border Protection Media (02) 6275 6793
Victoria Police Media (03) 9247 5205