Or­gan­ised crime gangs mail out drugs

The Weekend Post - - Nation -

QUEENS­LAND’S or­gan­ised crime gangs are send­ing drugs by post at an alarm­ing rate, with more than 100 pack­ages in­ter­cepted a month.

And more drug-car­ry­ing sea pas­sen­gers are try­ing to cross Queens­land bor­ders as com­mer­cial ves­sel vis­i­tor num­bers reached 85,000 in 2016-17, up from 54,000 two years ago.

Aus­tralian Bor­der Force re­gional com­man­der of Queens- land Terry Price said or­gan­ised crime groups were send­ing up to 2kg in mail parcels, sent to va­cant or prop­er­ties for sale, while users or­dered smaller amounts.

There were 1016 drug de­tec­tions in Queens­land be­tween Jan­uary and Au­gust – 728 in the post, 160 by air pas­sen­gers, 119 by air and nine by sea cargo.

“Mail is a choice be­cause quite of­ten they can at­tempt to hide their iden­tity as well,” Mr Price said. “Be­cause of the in­ter­net trade and dark web, it’s gen­er­ally small quan­ti­ties but large num­bers.

“The abil­ity and use of the web to or­der in drugs and in smaller quan­ti­ties to avoid de­tec­tion, and also the eco­nomic loss to lose a small amount, has grown in pop­u­lar­ity.

“It’s across the board, from peo­ple or­der­ing it from home – a small amount – to syn­di­cates or­der­ing it to mul­ti­ple ad­dresses in a sys­temic way.”

Mr Price said Aus­tralian au­thor­i­ties were work­ing with coun­ter­parts in Hong Kong and China to stem the flow of drugs in to Queens­land.

“We’re pretty so­phis­ti­cated now in our tar­get­ing ap­proach,” he said.

There were 934 drug de­tec­tions at Aus­tralian air­ports be­tween Jan­uary and Au­gust this year and 119 were in Bris­bane.

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