Australian police arrest almost 1,000 in nationwide drug crackdown

Australian police have arrested almost 1,000 people in a major crackdown on illicit drugs and organised crime, police said on Tuesday.

More than 2,000 charges had been laid, 990 people arrested and 1.2 tonnes of drugs seized in the week-long operation across the country involving police from all jurisdictions.

Police carried out more than 400 raids across the country, seizing drugs with a street value estimated at 475 million Australian dollars (309 million U.S. dollars), a statement said.

Firearms, vehicles and luxury goods were also seized during the operations.

Victoria Police Detective Acting Superintendent Dan Ryan said while it was an incredible result for police, it highlighted the seemingly insatiable demand in Australia for illicit substances.

“These seizures have prevented the associated community harm which is not restricted to the end users.

“Drug trafficking impacts us all whether it be the associated crime in our local communities, or road trauma, family violence, homicides and shootings,’’ he said.

Ryan said that the law enforcement and intelligence partners would continue to target those involved in the manufacture and trafficking of illicit drugs and dismantle their operations.

Western Australia Police Detective Superintendent John Hutchison said the operation should serve as a reminder to anyone in Australia involved in illicit drug and organised crime activity.

“We will find you and we will bring you to justice.’’ (dpa/NAN)