Two Victorian Men Charged with Trafficking Illicit Drugs in Melbourne

Australia, Police

Article: Two Victorian men appeared in court yesterday, facing charges of allegedly trafficking a commercial quantity of illicit drugs. The arrest took place in Port Melbourne after one of the men was found in possession of 12kg of methamphetamine, while the second man had 1kg of cocaine. The joint efforts of the Victorian Joint Organised Crime Taskforce (VIC JOCTF), comprising the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Victoria Police, and Australian Border Force (ABF), led to their apprehension. The taskforce had been investigating drug trafficking in Melbourne when they identified the two men as part of a transnational serious organised crime syndicate with plans to distribute the drugs across Victoria.

During the arrest, search warrants were executed on the men’s vehicles, resulting in the discovery of concealed compartments containing narcotics and other incriminating evidence. The Docklands man’s vehicle contained two electronic devices, a scale, and 12 clip seal bags with approximately 1kg of crystalline methamphetamine. In the Keysborough man’s vehicle, police found a 1kg brick of cocaine, three electronic devices, and $30,000 in cash. Additional search warrants were executed at homes in Docklands and Keysborough, as well as businesses in South Melbourne and Port Melbourne.

The search operations yielded further evidence, including an unregistered firearm, ammunition, computers, mobile devices, and cash. Both men have been charged with trafficking a large commercial quantity of a drug of dependence, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. The Docklands man also faces charges of possessing an unregistered firearm. While the Docklands man has been remanded in custody, the Keysborough man has been granted bail. Both are scheduled to reappear in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on September 26, 2024.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Chris Salmon emphasized the significant harm that the intercepted drugs could have caused if they had reached the streets. The estimated street value of the methamphetamine alone was $10.8 million, potentially enabling 120,000 individual street deals. Salmon highlighted the devastating psychological, financial, and social consequences of methamphetamine use, with approximately 12,200 Australians being hospitalized due to the illicit drug every year.

Victoria Police Detective Acting Superintendent Dan Ryan echoed Salmon’s sentiments, emphasizing the profound impact that such a large quantity of methamphetamine could have had on criminality, fatal overdoses, family violence incidents, aggravated burglaries, and deaths on the roads. Ryan also noted the concerning correlation between drugs and firearms, highlighting the importance of seizing the weapon during the operation.