AFP’s international partnerships lead to record transport of 1,800 tons of liquid methamphetamine to Hong Kong

AFP and the Australian Border Force in Hong Kong worked with Hong Kong Customs and Excise (HKCE) to intercept a record 1.8 tonnes of liquid methamphetamine destined for Australia.

The illicit shipment was identified on the basis of intelligence developed by AFP agents in Mexico and the Australian Department of the Interior.

International cooperation led HKCE to find the methamphetamine on October 23, 2022, hidden in cartons of coconut water.

Ongoing investigations are underway to identify major transnational organized criminals involved in the illicit drug smuggling conspiracy – which has an estimated street value of A$1.62 billion or a wholesale value of A$540 million – in New South Wales.

Mexico-based agents used their international network to alert AFP officers in Hong Kong to the suspicious shipment being sent from Mexico to Australia via Hong Kong.

AFP Detective Superintendent Patrick Gordon, AFP’s senior officer in Mexico, said organized crime operates across borders, as do law enforcement.

“The seizure demonstrated the importance of coordinated international action with our law enforcement partners to disrupt these attempts by organized crime to import illicit drugs into Australia and profit at the expense of the community,” he said. he declared.

“The stark reality is that Australia’s illicit drug use problem funds a series of dangerous and brutal cartels, triads and outlaw motorcycle gangs.”

“These criminals undermine our national security and our economy. They make our suburbs and our roads less safe.

“This amount of methamphetamine could have been sold for around 18 million transactions at street level, so NSW and the Australian community are safer because these drugs have been seized.”

ABF International Operations Commander Chris Gower said the seizure was a timely reminder that Australian agencies had an intelligence network that stretched across the globe.

“We will always cooperate and work closely with our international partners to block and seize illicit drug shipments, break the criminals’ business model and prevent further harm to the Australian community,” Commander Gower said.

“This is a significant seizure and a tangible example of international cooperation through intelligence gathering that shares a common goal, to thwart criminal syndicates and their illicit drug operations.”

By ensuring these drugs do not reach the Australian community, AFP and its partners have saved the community an estimated $737 million in drug-related harms, including associated crime, healthcare health and loss of productivity.