State’s drugs shame
Victoria now the nation’s ice capital
VICTORIA is Australia’s amphetamines capital, new figures show.
More ice, speed, MDMA and other stimulants were seized here over the past year than in any other state.
Police seized almost 4900kg of amphetamines in the last financial year — a whopping 396 per cent increase on the year before.
New data from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission shows Victoria is the only state where more people were arrested over amphetamines than over cannabis.
There were a record 154,538 drug arrests nationwide, up 15.4 per cent on the previous year, more than half of which were for cannabis offences.
In Victoria, 10,985 people were arrested for amphetamines offences, compared with 9717 for cannabis offences.
The ACIC’s annual illicit drug data report, out today, also says: AUTHORITIES seized 21 tonnes of illicit drugs last year, the fourth-highest total on record. DRUG seizures numbered a record 115,421, up 84.7 per cent over the past decade. POLICE found and closed 575 secret drug laboratories — 144 in Victoria — mostly run by addicts producing methylamphetamine in residential areas. FOR the first time, more prisoners were hooked on methyl- amphetamines, including ice, than on cannabis.
The startling figures on amphetamine seizures in Victoria do not include the nation’s largest meth bust in a Nunawading warehouse in April, in which 903kg of the drug, with a street value of $898 million, was found.
Most big amphetamine busts involved air and sea cargo smuggling, but most seizures were of smaller amounts mailed from overseas.
Authorities in Melbourne found 2kg of MDMA in shampoo bottles, and another 8.3kg described as bread mix, both from the Netherlands — the most common source of amphetamines ahead of China, Britain and Germany.
Justice Minister Michael Keenan said ice was the drug that posed “by far the greatest threat” to the nation.
More than 60 per cent of Australia’s top criminal targets were profiting from the trade.
Police also seized more than 1500kg of cannabis in Victoria, 185.6 per cent more than in the previous year and more than in any other state.
And border checks uncovered cocaine a record 2777 times. Colombia continued to be the main source country.