News Crime A reefer-derci! Australia’s police forces torched seized drugs worth $5b in 2021

A reefer-derci! Australia’s police forces torched seized drugs worth $5b in 2021

Drug hauls like this massive cocaine seizure went up in smoke before they could damage addicts and the community. Photo: NSW police
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Weighing almost the same as four adult male African elephants, Australian Federal Police have burnt 25.8 tonnes worth of illicit drugs in 2021 found on Australian shores.

The AFP’s destruction program estimate the value of methamphetamine, MDMA, amphetamines, cannabis and fast-acting stimulants found at more than $5 billion.

Using furnaces that reach up to 1400C, AFP officers were on site as the drugs went up in a filtered smoke then safely released.

The eastern command in NSW dominated Australia’s illegal drug trafficking market, with police burning 19.4 tonnes this year.

Within those findings it was stimulants (methamphetamine, MDMA) uncovered the most at 15.7 tonnes.

One tonne of cocaine was also destroyed while police incinerated 9.3 tonnes of gamma-butyrolcactone (GBL), a fast-acting stimulant linked to fatal overdoses in Australia.

In Western Australia, South Australia and Alice Springs districts, police destroyed almost 900 kilograms of illicit drugs, including more than 260kg of stimulants and 505 kilograms of cannabis.

Victorian and Tasmanian regions vaporised 3.7 tonnes of illicit drugs, comprising of more than two tonnes of khat, a stimulant found in the leaves of an East African shrub, 630kg of pseudoephedrine and 506kg of methamphetamine.

The haul in Queensland and parts of the Northern Territory included 680kg of methamphetamine and MDMA, 530kg of cannabis and 200kg of cocaine.

The AFP said their burning program was the culmination of efforts to stamping out organised crime in Australia.

“This is a major hit to the balance sheets of these criminals and puts pressure on every aspect of their operations,” Crime Command Detective Superintendent Russel Smith said.

“The 30 tonnes of illicit substances that the AFP has destroyed this year had the potential to cause massive damage to our communities through violence and long-term health impacts, which disproportionately affect the young and vulnerable.”