Australian Police Force Seizes Drugs & $1.5 Million in Cryptocurrency

Australia Border Force (ABF) announced on Wednesday detectives from WA Police’s Forces Drug & Firearm Square – Meth Transport Team arrested two people for drugs (attempted importation of MDMA) and seized more than $1.5 million worth of cryptocurrency. The organization reported:

“On Thursday 31 October 2019, ABF officers screening international mail at the Perth Gateway Facility detected 27.5g of MDMA tablets and 27.5g of MDMA powder in a package sent from the United Kingdom, and which was destined for the Perth metropolitan area. It will be alleged the drugs were concealed in a children’s toy painting kit. ABF officers alerted Australian Federal Police and WA Police Force to the discovery and detectives from WA Police Force’s Meth Transport Team commenced an investigation. Detectives executed a search warrant at a residence in Charing Crescent, Marangaroo.”

ABF also stated that as part of the investigation, an electronic device that was seized during the search warrant was examined by officers from Technology Crime Services, and $1,524,102 worth of cryptocurrency was located. With the assistance of the Proceeds of Crime Squad the cryptocurrency asset has been frozen, pending the outcome of the court process. The 27-year-old man and 25-year-old woman arrested were charged with the following:

  • Attempted Possession of Drugs with Intent to Sell or Supply (MDMA)
  • Possession of Prohibited Drugs with Intent to Sell or Supply (Cannabis)

Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Matthews, Officer in Charge of the Drug & Firearm Squad, revealed that the cryptocurrency seized is believed to be the highest value seized of its kind made by the WA Police Force.

“While WA Police Force has seized millions of dollars’ worth of physical property and bank account assets in the course of several drug investigations, particularly those involving established criminal networks, the identification and freezing of over $1.5 million of cryptocurrency in these circumstances highlights the current digital environment in which law enforcement agencies must operate. Using the latest technologies and digital forensic techniques we thoroughly investigate all possible methods of holding financial assets and will target all forms of wealth that may be derived from the illicit drug trade. The ongoing partnerships between state and Commonwealth law enforcement agencies continue to provide WA Police Force with new intelligence and new lines of investigation to act on.”

The ABF’s Regional Commander for WA, Rod O’Donnell, went on to add:

“Every single gram of drugs we seize means one less hit that could potentially ruin someone’s life and the lives of those around them. Our officers are awake to the many creative methods criminals try to import these dangerous drugs, and they will continue to do everything they can to stop them at the border. This is another example of how the collaborative efforts of the ABF and its State and Federal law enforcement partners are protecting the community.”

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