Monday, 10 October 2016
Media release

Over five tonnes of major illicit drugs seized in 2015-16

Over five tonnes of major illicit drugs have been prevented from reaching Australian streets last financial year thanks to our frontline border agency.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said these results show the important role that the Australian Border Force (ABF) plays in preventing illicit drugs from entering Australia.

"These figures should serve as a warning to serious and organised crime syndicates that the capabilities of the ABF in collaboration with our law enforcement partners have never been stronger and the efforts to disrupt the supply of these illicit drugs are continuing," Mr Dutton said.

There were almost 38,000 drug detections in the last financial year, amounting to more than 730 seizures on average each week at the country's airports, seaports and mail centres.

Of these, more than 16,800 were major illicit drugs and precursors including heroin, MDMA, amphetamine type stimulants (including ice) and cocaine weighing over five tonnes.

At this time, the most prominent of illicit drug threats is crystal methamphetamine (or ice) and its precursors and derivatives. The total weight of crystal methamphetamine (or ice) seized in 2015-16 was more than 1.6 tonnes.

The total weight of cocaine seized in 2015-16 was more than 650 kilograms, nearly doubling the weight seized in the previous financial year.

"The ABF has highly skilled officers using intelligence, enhanced detection technology and evolving search techniques to detect and prevent illicit drugs from reaching the Australian community," Mr Dutton said. 

"We will continue to make seizures of illicit drugs no matter how large or small and by whatever means that criminal syndicates attempt to smuggle drugs across the border."