ABF officers detect and seize 100kg of illicit drugs in Adelaide

A shipment of harmful drugs has been blocked from flooding South Australian streets following a recent detection by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers.

On Thursday 11 January 2024, ABF officers detected and seized approximately 90kg of methamphetamine and 10kg of cocaine in a sea container originating from Guatemala, at the ABF’s Cargo Examination Facility.

The consignment was declared as “Leather Belts” however further examination of the sea container uncovered hessian sacks containing clear plastic containers and tape-wrapped blocks. Subsequent testing confirmed they contained a total of 100kg of illicit drugs.

The estimated potential street value of the seized drugs is more than $85 million.

ABF referred the packages to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and an investigation has been launched.

ABF Chief Superintendent Bart England said this was one of a number of recent large detections of border-controlled drugs in South Australia and praised the officers involved.

“Our officers use their intuition and experience to detect drugs at the border, and in this case, noticed some small anomalies in the consignment,” Chief Superintendent England said.

“An inspection of the sea container as a result of that intuition led to this significant amount of illicit drugs being seized before entering the community.

“Methamphetamine is by far the most consumed and imported illicit substance in Australia. While criminal syndicates are relentless in their attempts to import the drug, we are even more determined to stop them.”

AFP Detective Superintendent Melinda Adam commended the ABF’s detection of the illicit drugs and said the AFP worked tirelessly with national and international law enforcement partners to combat the supply of illicit drugs into Australia and keep the community safe.  

“Unfortunately, Australia is seen as a lucrative market for organised crime due to the comparatively higher price users are willing to pay for illicit drugs.”