AFP logo at EBB Canberra

News Centre

Our latest media releases, podcasts and stories
18 December 2021, 7:39am
Media Release

Operational success reveals the AFP helped keep South Australians safe in 2021

The AFP has charged 50 alleged offenders with 147 charges and seized more than 1.7 tonnes of illicit drugs in South Australia in 2021.

Working with South Australia Police and other Commonwealth agencies, the AFP targets terrorism and foreign interference; child exploitation and transnational serious organised crime.

The crackdown on Commonwealth crime comes as the AFP will next year boost its senior ranks in South Australia with the appointment of Assistant Commissioner Peter Harvey, who is an Assistant Commissioner with the South Australia Police.

It is the first time the AFP has appointed an Assistant Commissioner to Central Command, sending a strong signal to serious organised crime that the AFP will unleash maximum damage to the criminal environment in South Australia.

From January 2022, AFP Central Command will encompass both South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Operation Ironside, a three-year AFP-led investigation that was publicly revealed in June this year, highlighted the significant footprint of serious organised crime in South Australia and their international networks.

Under Operation Ironside, the AFP with South Australia Police, charged 95 offenders with 184 offences.

Over the three years, more than 2.2 tonnes of drugs have been seized. Almost $1.8 million in cash suspected to be from the proceeds of crime has also been seized.

Keeping illicit drugs out of South Australian suburbs helps protect motorists and communities from harm, as well as the first responders and frontline workers such as teachers, paramedics, nurses and police.

AFP Commander Erica Merrin said the AFP would work closely with local and international law enforcement agencies to keep residents in South Australia safe.

“The AFP has a relentless focus on smashing criminal networks and those who target vulnerable individuals and communities,’’ Commander Merrin said.

“There is nowhere for criminals to hide in South Australia. Every day, the AFP, with our partners, are building evidence against those who have committed serious crimes.

“Next year, the AFP will ramp up its pressure on transnational serious organised criminals who target this part of Australia.”

Media enquiries

AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297