Gough Whitlam dies at 98 – he brought independence to PNG
Reminiscences of a long association with Papua New Guinea

Arrests follow discovery of Australia-PNG drugs & firearms racket

Handguns & rifles seized by AFPAUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE

THE Australian Federal Police and other agencies have dismantled an organised crime syndicate allegedly importing large amounts of drugs into Australia and attempting to export firearms to Papua New Guinea.

Eight people have been charged with various offences and 10 litres of P2P has been seized, a precursor substance used to manufacture amphetamine-type drugs, such as 'ice'.

Police estimate the P2P seizure was capable of producing approximately 9.8 kilograms of methamphetamine, with an estimated street value of $2.5 million.

The joint operation began in May when the AFP targeted smuggling networks operating out of Daru.

On Monday last week, arrested four people were arrested following the discovery of a large cannabis plantation in a remote location near Herberton in northern Queensland. A second crop was later located.

During the course of the investigation, the AFP seized seven litres of P2P allegedly imported from PNG into Australia via the Torres Strait.

On Sunday and Monday this week, the AFP and agencies executed 10 search warrants in Cairns, Herberton, Bamaga and Badu Island (Torres Strait). A further three litres of P2P was found at a premises in Cairns and five men were charged.

AFP Detective Superintendent Glen Fisher said the operation is a great example of the importance of law enforcement agencies based in northern Queensland working together to target criminal activity and undertaking effective action to disrupt it.

Commander Phil Watt said Customs and Border Protection conducts regular joint operations with the AFP and Queensland Police to detect and respond to breaches of Australian border laws.

“Customs and Border Protection provided support to this operation over the past week through aerial patrols, surface assets, warrants, trace technology and also detector dogs.”


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