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NCA to be congratulated for another major heroin success.

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Minister for Justice and Customs

Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Senator for South Australia


52/99 Friday 27 April 1999






The Minister for Justice, Senator Amanda Vanstone, today congratulated the National Crime Authority for its success in smashing the operations of another major drug syndicate.


The arrests of three men, two in Perth and one in Melbourne yesterday, follow arrests two weeks ago and earlier this week of four other people. Altogether, almost $750,000 and high grade heroin weighing about 6 kilograms have been seized. All the men arrested are citizens of Singapore believed to be operating a sophisticated international and multi-state syndicate.


“The success of the NCA in maintaining a multi-state covert surveillance over an extended period is a credit to the professionalism of the NCA.


“This success follows other significant recent wins by the National Crime Authority in attacking major drug syndicates and it reflects the focus the Federal Government has given our law enforcement agencies through its Tough on Drugs strategy.


“Under Tough on Drugs, the NCA has received significant funding, including $21 million over four years for investigation of South East Asian Organised Crime - targeting, in particular, heroin importation, trafficking and related activities.


“Earlier this year, the NCA dismantled a major interstate heroin trafficking operation after a long-term operation in co-operation with New South Wales Police Crime Agencies.


“The importance of such operations cannot be overstated. Any successful operation which breaks up a highly organised and sophisticated operation means that future drug trafficking is also disrupted and drug syndicates find Australia is not an easy place to operate in.


“The NCA has also enjoyed considerable success in getting the ‘Mr Bigs’ of the drug trade behind bars, such as the Canadian national who received a twenty four year prison sentence in October 1998 for his part in an international conspiracy to import heroin into Australia via Mauritius in 1997.


“Modern law enforcement, particularly in relation to drug importation, is an extremely intensive and time-consuming task. It can take years of intelligence gathering to successfully conclude such an operation.


“With additional resources through Tough on Drugs, agencies like the NCA, the Australian Federal Police, the anti-money laundering agency AUSTRAC and Customs are having considerable success and I congratulate the dedicated officers who deserve the highest praise for their efforts.”



Media Contact:

Kevin Donnellan Minister’s Office Mobile: 0419 400 078