Closeup of the uniform of an officer in the Australian Border Force
Closeup of the uniform of an officer in the Australian Border Force. Blue Mountains Gazette

Western Australia (WA) Police Force’s Drug & Firearm Squad and detectives from the Meth Transport team in particular, charged two suspects with an attempt to import MDMA into the country.

Thanks to information shared by the Australian Border Force (ABF) they were able to seize more than $1.5 million worth of cryptocurrency.

While screening foreign mail at the Perth Gateway Facility on October 31st, ABF officers caught a package containing 27.5g of MDMA powder and 27.5g tablets that have MDMA in them.

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The packet was coming from the United Kingdom and was heading towards the Perth metropolitan area. In a somewhat innovative approach, the drugs were hidden in a children’s painting kit.

After the ABF personnel found the suspicious package, they immediately informed the WA Police Force and the Australian Federal Police. The investigation was taken up by WA Police Force’s Meth Transport Team, which also carried a search warrant at a property in Charing Crescent, Marangaroo.

Some of the items found in the residence are supposedly used to sell cannabis. For this and other reasons a 27-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman were held under arrest. 

In addition, the Meth Transport Team confiscated an electronic device that was directly handed to Technology Crime Services and surprisingly, their officers found $1,524,102 worth of cryptocurrency. In cooperation with the Proceeds of Crime Squad, the cryptocurrency was frozen until the court comes with a decision.  

The aforementioned man and woman were charged with an attempted possession of MDMA with intentions to sell or supply, and possession of prohibited drugs (Cannabis) with the aim to sell.  

As they were declined bail, their first appearance in the Joondalup Magistrates Court was on November 7th, followed by one November 20th and one yesterday.

The Officer who is in charge of the Drug and Firearm Squad – Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Matthews made a remark that this cryptocurrency breakdown is probably the biggest 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 $1.5million 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.”

Rod O’Donnell, ABF’s Regional Commander commented that Perth Gateway Facility’s officers catch many small amounts of hidden drugs via x-ray and trace detection every day:

“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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