More AFP charges in Queensland than any other state

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Editor’s note: Radio grabs from Assistant Commissioner Northern Command Lesa Gale available via Hightail

The AFP has charged more alleged offenders with Commonwealth offences in Queensland than any other state in 2021, underscoring the AFP’s crackdown on crime in the state.

In Queensland, 194 alleged offenders were charged with 505 Commonwealth offences, including significant drug importations, as of December 2021.

The AFP’s Northern Command, which includes Queensland and part of the Northern Territory north of Katherine, seized 1.6 tonnes of illicit drugs to date this year. Overall, Northern Command has charged 227 alleged offenders with 581 offences to date.

To date, the overwhelming drug seized in Northern Command was cannabis (1.2 tonnes), followed by stimulants, like methamphetamine (152kg).

In Queensland, the AFP has worked with key law enforcement partners to keep the state safe, targeting child sex predators, outlaw motorcycle gangs, the proceeds of crime, terrorism and cyber criminals.

Northern Command Assistant Commissioner Lesa Gale said the AFP’s dedication to unleash maximum damage on the criminal environment in Queensland should send a strong warning to criminals.

“The AFP’s technical and forensic capability is world leading. This capability, plus the dogged determination of AFP members, and our integral state and international partnerships, means we are charging offenders who thought they were untouchable.”

Operation Ironside, a three-year AFP-led investigation that was publicly revealed in June this year, led to significant arrests in Queensland.

Over the three years, 44 offenders were charged on 194 offences in Queensland. Also in the state, more than 980kg of illicit drugs were seized, as well as seven weapons and $651,000 suspected to be linked to the proceeds of crime.

Assistant Commissioner Gale said the AFP had a strong presence at the state’s three major airports – Brisbane, Gold Coast and Cairns - to ensure the safety of the travelling public.

“Passengers will see armed AFP personnel at major airports during Christmas and beyond,’’ Assistant Commissioner Gale said.

“If you see one of our members, don’t be alarmed, we are there to ensure you have safe travels this festive season.”

Assistant Commissioner Gale said the AFP this year rebooted its Airport Watch program, which encouraged the public and aviation workers to report suspicious activity to the AFP hotline – 131 AFP.

“We know with borders re-opening organised crime will try to import illicit drugs, weapons and proceeds of crime through air, sea and mail streams, and across state borders on our roads,’’ Assistant Commissioner Gale said.

“The AFP will use all our levers, including our intelligence resources, our Commonwealth powers and our capability, to identify and bring to justice those who seek to harm the community.”

See below links to AFP operational outcomes in Queensland in 2021

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