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Record number of drug seizures

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More people have been arrested for illicit drug offences and more drugs seized than ever before, a new report by the Australian Crime Commission says.

In the 2013-14 financial year, Australian law enforcement agencies collected a record 27 tonnes of illicit drugs from 93,000 seizures and made more than 110,000 arrests, the Illicit Drug Data Report 2013-14 released on Friday says.

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The report pulls together information from state and territory police forces, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.

“Organised crime groups are profit driven, constantly looking for new opportunities, operating across domestic and international borders,” the commission’s CEO Chris Dawson said in a statement.

“With the rise of virtual marketplaces, these provide a direct supply of illicit commodities to a new generation of users.”

Mr Dawson said the report included a record 10-tonne seizure of benzaldehyde that could have been used to produce up to 4.5 tonnes of methylamphetamine.

“This equates to an estimated 45 million individual street deals, with an estimated value of $3.6 billion.”

The report says agencies seized a record number of amphetamine-type stimulants, with a record 26,269 arrests, and the purity of methylamphetamine had increased consistently since 2010-11.

Steroid arrests and seizures were also the highest on record while clandestine drug lab detections remained stable with 744 detected across Australia.

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