Joint media release - The Hon Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and The Hon Michael Keenan MP, Minister for Justice and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Counter Terrorism.
Record quantities of major illicit drugs were detected and seized by the Australian Border Force over the past financial year.
There were more than 32,800 drug detections in the 12 months to 30 June 2015 which amounts to more than 630 seizures on average each week at the nation's airports, seaports and mail centres.
Of these, more than 14,800 detections were of major illicit drugs and precursors with a total weight of more than 7.3 tonnes.
This marks a record for the quantity of major illicit drugs and precursors detected—two more tonnes than in the 2013-14 financial year and the highest quantity in the past five years.
The total weight of crystal methamphetamine ('Ice') seized in 2014-15 was more than 2.6 tonnes, nearly double the weight seized in the previous financial year.
Additional funding ($88 million) provided by the Coalition Government to increase screening of international mail, air and sea cargo has led to increased detections.
Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said these results showed the value of the Government's coordinated approach to stopping the flow of dangerous and illegal drugs into our communities.
"It is only through the combined resources, expertise and hard work of our border and law enforcement agencies, including the newly-formed Australian Border Force, that this can happen," Mr Dutton said.
"These record seizures show just how effective this combined effort is and I commend the officers of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and the ABF for their ongoing commitment to detecting and stopping criminal activity at our border."
Minister for Justice Michael Keenan said Australia has become a target for organised criminals from all around the world because Australians are paying top dollar for illicit substances.
"Since coming to Government we have invested heavily in law enforcement agencies and introduced tough legislation to prosecute those who seek to peddle this harm, including fostering unprecedented cooperation with our state and territory counterparts through the National Anti-Gangs Squad," Mr Keenan said.
"These operations have resulted in the arrest of over 841 offenders, including 2,520 charges, over $4.7 million in cash and proceeds of crime, and 480 firearms, ammunition and explosives off our streets.
"We are also strengthening our international engagement through an $18 million boost to the Australian Crime Commission, funded through proceeds of crime, to enable ACC officers to be posted in Dubai, Canada, Hong Kong and with the FBI and DEA in Washington."
The Australian Border Force is committed to working with the law enforcement and intelligence agencies to detect and disrupt the business models of organised criminal gangs at our borders and in our communities.