Media Release: Multi-agency drug bust nets four and 37kgs of narcotics in Perth

Release Date: Thursday, January 10 2013, 01:49 PM

This is a joint media release between the AFP, the ACC and Customs and Border Protection

A multi-agency investigation involving the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) and Australian Customs and Border Protection Service has disrupted the activities of a Perth-based drug syndicate.

Four people have been arrested and over 35 kilograms of methylamphetamine concealed in ceramic tiles, with a street value of up to $13 million, has been stopped from hitting the streets of Perth.

Four search warrants were conducted across the Perth suburbs of Wangara, Balga, Nollamara and Stirling. Police seized approximately $38,700 in cash, a further two kilograms of a substance believed to be methylamphetamine and a stun gun.

Three men and one woman aged between 21 and 49 years have been charged and investigations are continuing. Police have not ruled out further arrests.

All have been remanded in custody to appear in Perth Magistrates Court today, 10 January 2013.

The joint investigation, codenamed Operation Kamino, began on 2 January this year. Following criminal intelligence supplied by the ACC, Customs and Border Protection officers examined a container from China which had arrived into Fremantle, Western Australia. 

Customs and Border Protection officers inspected the consignment which contained 17 pallets of ceramic tiles.

Further examination revealed a crystalline substance concealed within the tiles. The substance presumptively tested positive for methylamphetamine.

On 9 January 2013, the AFP conducted a controlled delivery where the four people were arrested and charged with attempting to possess a border controlled drug, namely methylamphetamine.

AFP Manager Perth Office Brad Shallies said this joint agency investigation demonstrates that the AFP is committed to protecting the Australian community by bringing these criminals to justice.

“Community safety is a key priority for the AFP and today's operation has successfully prevented a significant quantity of methamphetamine entering the Perth community,” Commander Shallies said.

Customs and Border Protection Acting National Manager Enforcement Operations Neil Sugget said that this detection was another example of the success of an intelligence-led, joint-agency approach to stopping crime at our border.

“It’s because of shared intelligence that we were able to identify this attempted importation of dangerous drugs before it arrived in Australia,” Mr Sugget said.

ACC Executive Director Intervention and Prevention Paul Jevtovic said today’s arrests reinforced the value of criminal intelligence in breaking the business of serious and organised crime in Australia.

“This is another great example of the results that can be achieved when law enforcement pool their resources and work together,” Mr Jevtovic said.

The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment and/or an $825,000 fine. 


Media enquiries:
AFP National Media (02) 6131 6333
Customs and Border Protection Media (02) 6275 6793
Australian Crime Commission (02) 6243 6843