22 December 2023

Five kilos of meth intercepted before reaching Cape York communities

| Chisa Hasegawa
Start the conversation
Arrest of a criminal syndicate member

Thousands of potential methamphetamine street deals in Australia were intercepted by law enforcement officials. Photo: Australian Federal Police.

Six people in Papua New Guinea have been arrested and charged after allegedly attempting to smuggle five kilograms of methamphetamine into Bamaga via the Torres Strait.

The arrests came after Australian Federal Police (AFP) received information suggesting members of an overseas criminal syndicate located in PNG were targeting Australia.

An AFP officer based on Thursday Island shared this information with the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) Transnational Crime Unit, enabling them to conduct an investigation.

AFP Commander Melinda Phelan said the strength of the AFP’s partnership in the Pacific played a key role in the arrest of the people who allegedly planned to profit from the exploitation of Australian communities.

READ ALSO Humble hero: Magoo plays it down, despite lifesaving feats

“The work of the AFP is focused on the disruption of organised crime, while also making the community aware of the dangers and harms of these insidious substances,” she said.

The RPNGC investigation resulted in the arrest of two men and one woman in Mabadauan, PNG, on 22 November. Information gathered during those arrests led to an additional two men being arrested in Daru, PNG, on 28 November. On 1 December, the final member of the syndicate was arrested in Port Moresby.

The AFP alleged the import could have been broken up into more than 50,000 individual street deals.

Methamphetamine seized

The syndicate allegedly aimed to profit from the exploitation of Australian communities. Photo: Australian Federal Police.

“Following the arrests, an AFP member joined with our partners from Australian Border Force and Queensland Police to hold a community meeting to talk about the dangers of methamphetamine and what we could do to help combat those seeking to push this horrible drug into and through their community,” Commander Phelan said.

RPNGC Deputy Commissioner of Police Special Operations Donald Yamasombi expressed gratitude to the teams involved for their dedicated efforts in apprehending the suspects.

READ ALSO Wujal Wujal vows to rebuild after flooding forces town to evacuate

“Law enforcement officials and other organisations, such as customs, are making every effort to guard the border and detain those engaged in illicit activity,” he said.

Enquiries into the alleged criminal syndicate are ongoing and members of the public with information are urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppers.com.au.

If you need support:

Start the conversation

Cape York Weekly

Subscribe to get the latest edition of Cape York Weekly in your inbox each Monday.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Cape York Weekly's terms and conditions and privacy policy.