Operation JETENGINE: ABF Disrupts Criminal Activity at Melbourne Airport

Australia, Police

The Australian Border Force (ABF) and partner agencies have stepped up their efforts to combat criminal activity at Melbourne International Airport with Operation JETENGINE.

Targeting the aviation supply chain in Victoria and Tasmania, this high-visibility disruption operation aims to identify, monitor, and disrupt illicit activities involving trusted insiders.

Air Border Security officers have uncovered evidence of airline crew members engaged in illicit drug use and domestic drug distribution.

International crew members were found attempting to smuggle illicit cigarettes, tobacco products, high-value dutiable goods, and undeclared currency, concealed within false bottom suitcases.

In some cases, international crew members were detected under the influence of illicit substances while on duty, leading to the cancellation of at least one crew travel authority (visa).

Over a 12-month period, Operation JETENGINE has resulted in more than 1000 foot patrols, over 1300 search activities on aircraft, and over 130 exhibits seized, including undeclared currency, duty-evaded cigarettes, and other goods.

The operation has also led to the removal of a squatter from an abandoned building within the airport precinct.

The ABF has been working closely with industry partners and the World Customs Organization (WCO) to establish a best-practice approach to tackling the threat of trusted insiders at airports.

The operation strengthens stakeholder relationships, fostering collaboration and encouraging the reporting of suspected criminal activity in the aviation environment.

ABF Superintendent Kelly-anne Parish stated, “Our officers are committed to detecting, deterring, and disrupting criminal activity in the aviation environment through world’s best practice activity, intelligence, and training.

Their expertise is recognized by international law enforcement partners, ensuring the Australian community’s safety and security.

The Australian Border Force encourages people working in the aviation industry and the general public to report suspected criminal activities at airports.

Reporting suspicious border-related activity can help protect Australia’s border and the community at large.