Source: Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
More than $38 million worth of drugs have been seized after 40 kilograms of methamphetamine and 18 kilograms of cocaine were allegedly found concealed in adult sex toys.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) launched Operation Geham this month following a referral from the Australian Border Force (ABF). The ABF x-rayed a consignment containing 21 boxes of adult products sent to Melbourne from the United Kingdom via Singapore. The x-rays indicated possible concealment of illegal drugs.
Further examination identified substances hidden within individual items that presumptively tested positive to methamphetamine and cocaine.
The illicit drugs have a combined estimated street value of up to $38 million.
Yesterday (1 October 2020), the AFP executed search warrants in the Melbourne suburbs of Belfield and Thomastown and a number of persons of interest were spoken to. Police enquiries are continuing as the investigation remains ongoing, and charges have not been ruled out.
AFP Acting Commander Investigations Jayne Crossling said the seizure demonstrated how drug smugglers used any product and method to import drugs into Australia.
“COVID-19 has not stopped drug dealers or organised crime syndicates from trying to import illicit products into Australia,’’ a/ Commander Crossling said.
“The AFP, with partner agencies, is one-step ahead and is unleashing maximum damage on the criminal environment.
“Drugs and drug abuse have severe consequences for the Australian community. Those with illicit substances in their system are unpredictable and it’s not just their health they are putting at risk, but those around them.
“Behind the wheel, motorists with illicit drugs in their system, are a danger to every driver on the road.
“And too many first responders, paramedics, nurses and police, have seen first-hand the danger of dealing with a person with illicit drugs in their system.
“Drug use in not a victimless crime.”
ABF Regional Commander for Victoria and Tasmania, Craig Palmer, said the detection highlighted the creative lengths criminals will go to in order to sneak illegal drugs into the country.
“Despite their attempts, criminal concealments are no match for our officers who are well-trained to detect such efforts. The ABF is serious about combatting the risk to the community posed by the illegal drug trade, and will continue to work closely with law enforcement agencies so we can see more results like today’s,” Regional Commander Palmer said.
If it reached Australian streets, this amount of methamphetamine could have had an estimated street value of up to $30 million dollars. The cocaine could have had an estimated street value of more than $8 million dollars.
Anyone with information that may assist Op Geham investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
*Editor’s note: Footage of the operation is available to download via hightail: https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/yKUyhUmGdN
Note to media:
Media are encouraged to include help-seeking information in stories about illicit drugs to minimise any negative impact on people in the community. The following services provide people with access to support and information.
- For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.
- Access free 24/7 drug and alcohol counselling online at www.counsellingonline.org
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