Four charged following interception of methamphetamine

This is a joint media release issued by the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force and South Australia Police

Three Adelaide men have been charged with the attempted possession of approximately 10 kilograms of methamphetamine following a joint operation this week.

Late last week, Australian Border Force (ABF) officers subjected an air freight package labelled as containing ‘aircraft cylinders’ to further examination. During this examination, a white crystalline substance weighing approximately three and a half kilograms was identified concealed in mechanical cylinders.

Presumptive testing indicated the presence of methamphetamine. Further testing will be conducted to confirm the exact weight and purity.

An additional two packages were identified also containing similar concealments. The total amount of methamphetamine intercepted is approximately 10 kilograms.

The packages were referred to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and yesterday (Tuesday, 20 December 2016) four men were arrested at three locations in the Adelaide suburb of Wingfield as part of investigative activity involving the AFP and South Australia Police.

A hydroponic cannabis set-up was also located at one of the Wingfield premises.

A 50-year-old man, a 26-year-old man and a 20-year-old man were all charged with the attempting to possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.

This offence carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

A 40-year-old man was charged by South Australia Police with drug possession and firearm offences.

AFP Acting Superintendent Operations and Intelligence, Nigel Booth praised the work of all agencies during this operation.

“We will allege in court that these men comprised a well-organised syndicate and their arrests are a significant achievement for law enforcement,” Acting Superintendent Booth said.

“The speed in which this matter progressed from detection to arrest is a credit to the skill and commitment of members from all three agencies involved, and highlights the effectiveness of the working relationships we have all developed in South Australia.”

Detective Chief Inspector Scott Fitzgerald, Serious and Organised Crime Branch, said that law enforcement is committed to the reduction of the harm caused by the use of illicit drugs in our community. 

“This seizure has stopped a significant amount of methamphetamine being sold for profit to vulnerable members of the South Australian community. South Australia Police’s ability to disrupt the illicit drug trade is greatly improved through the collaboration of joint agency operations,” Detective Chief Inspector Fitzgerald said.

ABF Acting Superintendent Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Alex Kelsall said the success of this operation should deliver a strong message to criminal syndicates.

“Not only are we making detections of illicit drugs at the Australian border every day, our officers are collecting and sharing important intelligence with our law enforcement partners,” Acting Superintendent Kelsall said.

The four men were scheduled to appear before the Adelaide Magistrates Court today.

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