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Record cocaine bust: 1.4 tonnes valued at $312 million



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The Hon Peter Dutton MP Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

The Hon Michael Keenan MP Minister for Justice

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Counter Terrorism

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

6 February 2017

Record cocaine bust: 1.4 tonnes valued at $312 million

A record 1.4 tonnes of cocaine valued in excess of $312 million has been seized by Australian authorities.

The cocaine was seized aboard a yacht bound for Australia during a covert midnight-mission on February 2.

Six men, including five Australians, have been charged with conspiracy to import border controlled drugs and could face life imprisonment for this serious offence.

This is the largest cocaine haul ever seized in a single operation in Australia’s history, and is more than 400 kilograms greater than the previous record of 938kg in Western Australia in 2001.

The ground-breaking operation has stopped a tsunami of the illicit drug from hitting our streets and its potential to have a deathly impact of the likes never seen before on Australian shores.

The cocaine could have resulted in 1.4 million street deals, with every single hit carrying the inherent risk of taking a life, destroying a family and devastating a community.

The interception was the result of a dogged, two and a half year, multi-agency pursuit involving the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force and New Zealand Customs Service.

The achievement of the operation is a testament to the strong partnerships we share with our neighbours, and a mutual determination to stamp-out criminal syndicates that peddle illicit drugs.

It adds to a summer of success for the AFP and its partners, intercepting 1,100 kg of cocaine in Australia and Tahiti and 186 kg of cocaine off Tasmania, throughout December and January.

In addition, in the past 18-months, the AFP and its partners have successfully stopped more than 11 tonnes of illicit drugs from reaching Australia.

The success of our agencies is sending a loud and clear message to the crooks attempting to peddle drugs like cocaine: you will get caught and you will pay the price.

The Coalition Government is committed to making every effort to break the back of criminal syndicates attempting to bring life-destroying illicit drugs into Australia.

We have invested heavily in our law enforcement agencies and facilitate enhanced cooperation between our federal, state and territory police forces and intelligence agencies to undermine the business models of organised crime.

Whether it is foiling terrorist activity or removing more than a million hits of cocaine from our streets, our world-leading law enforcement agencies will be relentless in bringing those who seek to harm our community before the courts.

Media contacts: Minister Dutton: John Wiseman 0417 498 570 Minister Keenan: Danielle McKay 0438 390 273