Sat, 29 Jan 2022

Cairns clandestine lab dismantled and alleged drug cook charged

Australian Federal Police
07 Dec 2021, 09:04 GMT+10

This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force and Queensland Police Service.

Editor's note: Images from the arrest are available via Hightail

An alleged clandestine illicit drug laboratory has been dismantled in Cairns and a 20-year-old Trinity Park man is scheduled to face Cairns Magistrates Court today (December 7) charged with importing a dangerous drug.

A joint investigation between the AFP, Australian Border Force (ABF) and Queensland Police Service (QPS) was launched on 10 September, 2021, after a package sent from Germany was intercepted at the Brisbane International Mail Centre.

ABF officers examined the registered mail item and found a clip seal bag containing 433 grams of a powdery substance that tested positive for N, N-dimethyltryptamine, which is a psychedelic drug also known as DMT.

Labelling on the mail item, which was addressed to a residence in Trinity Park, Cairns, listed its contents as a dye concentrate for wool, silk, cotton and linen.

On 18 October, 2021, the AFP executed a search warrant at the address listed on the package and seized two mobile phones.

Police also located an alleged clandestine laboratory inside a shed at the rear of the property suspected of being used to manufacture of DMT. Queensland Police Service specialist investigators processed the laboratory and sent components for further testing.

The Trinity Park man was charged with importing a marketable quantity of border controlled drugs, namely DMT, contrary to section 307.2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty is 25 years' imprisonment.

AFP Acting Superintendent Josh Kinghorn said police had zero tolerance for alleged criminals attempting to smuggle any quantity of drugs into the country.

"AFP officers arrive at work every day committed to protecting Australia and keeping the community safe," a/Superintendent Kinghorn said.

"The AFP will continue to work with our law enforcement partners and this result should send a strong message that we absolutely will not tolerate this criminal activity."

"The AFP is actively focused on protecting our borders and our joint-agency work to detect, deter and disrupt criminals is critical to ensuring our community is free from the harmful scourge of illegal drugs," a/Superintendent Kinghorn said.

Detective Superintendent Col Briggs of the QPS Crime and Intelligence Command's Drug and Serious Crime Group said the investigation involved detectives from the Major and Organised Crime Squad (MOCS), based in Northern Queensland.

"Our specialist investigators located across the state, will continue working alongside partner law enforcement agencies and using a range of investigative methodologies, to target those seeking to bring illicit substances into Queensland," Detective Superintendent Briggs said.

Australian Border Force Acting Commander Operations Queensland, Amanda Coppleman, said a large number of mail items containing border controlled drugs are intercepted by the ABF each year.

"Collectively, the volume of intercepted small-scale drug importations equates to millions of deals on the street. Each and every one of those individual deals has the potential to cause death or serious harm," Commander Coppleman said.

"In addition to the harm illicit drug use causes directly to individuals, there are devastating social impacts on families, and significant health-care system costs.

"We continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to stop these drugs reaching our communities where they can cause so much damage."

Note to media:

Media are encouraged to include help-seeking information in stories about illicit drugs to minimise any negative impact on people in the community. The following services provide people with access to support and information.

For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015. Access free 24/7 drug and alcohol counselling online at www.counsellingonline.org.au. For information about drug and alcohol addiction treatment or support, go to www.turningpoint.org.au. Media enquiries:

AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297

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