Millions in drugs, guns seized in Perth raids

Millions in drugs, guns seized in Perth raids

MILLIONS in drugs, guns and ammunition have been seized by police after more than 100 raids targeting street-level drug dealers across Western Australia.

$13 million worth of methamphetamine and more than $1 million worth of other illicit drugs were seized as part of Operation Actum.

More than 150 people have been charged with 450 offences as part of the operation, which was coordinated by detectives from Serious and Organised Crime Division.

About 13.7kg of meth, 790g of heroin and 27.87kg of cannabis were seized in the raids, along with 14 firearms and 1,191 rounds of ammunition.

Various amounts of drugs including cocaine, LSD, MDMA, magic mushrooms and unlawfully possessed prescription medication were also seized.

WA  Police officers worked overtime to execute 108 search warrants, resulting in the arrest of 57 people with a further 101 charged by Summons.

A total of 462 charges have been brought, including 35 charges of intent to sell or supply meth, 41 charges of intent to sell or supply other drugs and 49 charges of possessing meth.

Local police and detectives worked together as part of Operation Actum, with the coordinated raids taking place over March 30 and 31, and from April 8-14.

Acting Commander Kim Massam of the State Crime Command said the state-wide operation involved local police and detectives who had the support of specialist personnel, including those form the Serious and Organised Crime Division.

The operation deliberately targeted street level methamphetamine drug dealers, but unsurprisingly police also seized plenty of other drugs, ammunitions and about $275,000 in cash.

“Meth continues to be the focus for West Australian police because of the high harm,” Commander Massam said.

“We’ve grabbed $14m of gear and it’s cost us a lot of money but I think the community would be happy with that return on investment.

“We seized 792g of heroin as well in this operation so we can see the disproportionate amount of methamphetamines to other drugs that continues to drive the work of the organised crime division.”

Commander Massam alluded to more than half of the illicit seizures occurring in country towns and suggested the majority was probably shipped into WA from Asia.

All up, police say the seized drugs equalled about 137,000 hits of meth taken from the street, with a street value of about $14m.

A vehicle was stopped in Kalgoorlie with 8kg of meth and about 5kg of the drug was found spread across a network of about five houses across the Rockingham-Mandurah area.

All of the seized drugs will be tested by chemists and then destroyed.

Police Minister Michelle Roberts accepted people get frustrated because their reports of street-level crime don’t appear to be actioned but urged them to continue to send tip offs to Crime Stoppers.

“I know that members of the community are concerned about these people and these addresses,” she said.

“Not just because they’re dealing in drugs from those houses but also because of the people they’re attracting there.

“[This is] $14 million worth of misery taken off the streets of Perth – out of our suburbs and out of our country towns.

“While these are not necessarily the Mr Bigs, it’s not the big importation of 100 kilos or more of drugs into the State, these are the wheelers and dealers. These are the street level dealers that are there in the suburbs and our country towns.”

Commander Massam said there was no direct links between the street dealers targeted and outlaw motorcycle gangs.

Operation Actum provides additional funding from the Serious and Organised Crime Division to local police to plan and execute drug-related search warrants above and beyond what they can do in their normal office hours.

Intelligence gathered during the search warrants will also help both local police and the Serious and Organised Crime Division identify future targets.

Anyone with information regarding the sale of distribution of illicit drugs is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report the information online at www.crimestopperswa.com.au. Callers can remain anonymous.