Australia’s largest criminal crypto haul is seized together with drugs package from UK
The arrested pair – a 27-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman from Marangaroo – were charged with attempted importation of 27.5 grams of MDMA tablets and 27.5g of MDMA powder concealed in a child’s painting kit. Officers said they also discovered a number of items relating to the sale or supply of cannabis, leading to further charges of possession of both MDMA and cannabis. The contraband was first discovered by Border Force operatives screening mail at the Perth Gateway Facility before the device holding more than one-and-a-half million Australian dollars was discovered at the searched property.
It is believed the quantity of cryptocurrency found by the Technology Crime Services unit was the proceeds of drugs-related crime.
According to Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Matthews – the Officer in Charge of the Drug and Firearm Squad – the cryptocurrency discovery is believed to be Australia’s highest value seizure of its kind.
“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,” he said.
“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, the ABF’s Regional Commander for Western Australia, explained officers at the Perth Gateway Facility were seizing multiple small concealments of illicit drugs in the mail stream 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,” he said.
“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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