Internal concealments

In October 2008, the AFP conducted an internal concealment workshop in Vietnam. The first of these workshops was held in January 2007, and since then these have been a key part of the mitigation strategy to reduce the instances of this potentially harmful form of concealment. Domestically, community engagement forums focusing on the dangers of internal drug concealment have highlighted the associated health dangers.

The internal concealment of drugs involves the person swallowing balloons with the drugs inside or placing these in their vagina or anus. There are several incidents where these balloons have ruptured causing severe illness and even death. Passengers have exited airplanes violently ill and vomiting due to one or more of the internally concealed items rupturing within their bodies.

The purity of heroin available on the Australian streets is 20%. These drugs are imported in a pure form and are then cut for use. The average purity of the drugs imported is generally between 60-70%. This means that the drugs being swallowed are three times more potent than the drugs used in Australia. If one of these items ruptures the likelihood of surviving is greatly reduced.

Drug Harm Index

The AFP Drug Harm Index was developed to provide a single measure that encapsulates the potential value to the Australian community of AFP drug seizures. The index represents the dollar value of harm that would have occurred had the seized drugs reached the community.

In the five years to June 2009, the AFP and its partners saved the Australian community approximately $883.3 million in drug-related harm through its disruption of illicit drug importations. Previous research has shown that the AFP's Drug Harm Index shows a return of approximately $5 to the Australian community for every $1 invested in federal drug investigations.

If it doesn't add up, speak up. Call the National Security Hotline - 1800 123 400.

Read the AFP Annual Report 2021-22

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