$1.5m in cryptocurrency seized following ABF’s mail drug discovery

A quantity of drugs detected in mail in WA has led to the arrest of two people and the seizure of $1.5 million in cryptocurrency.

Officers made the discovery following a raid on a Perth home after making the drugs discovery during a mail screening.

The Australian Border Force (ABF) at the Perth Gateway Facility on 31 October detected 27.5g of MDMA power in a package alleged to be concealed in a children’s toy painting kit sent from the United Kingdom, destined for the Perth metropolitan area.

ABF officers alerted Australian Federal Police and WA Police to the discovery, with WA Police’s Meth Transport Team commencing an investigation.

Detectives executed a search warrant at a residence in Charing Cresent in Marangaroo, where it will be alleged that several items used to sell or supply cannabis were found.

They also seized an electronic device during the search.

Technology Crime Services examinations of the device uncovered $1, 524,102 worth of cryptocurrency.

The currency was frozen pending the outcome of the court process.

Police arrested a 27-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman following the search.

They have been charged with attempted possession of MDMA with intent to sell or supply and possession of cannabis with intent to sell or supply.

The man and woman were refused bail and appeared in the Joondalup Magistrates Court on 7 November and 20 November.

They are due to appear in Joondalup Magistrates Court again today.

Officer in Charge of the Drug and Firearm Squad Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Matthews said the investigation highlighted a new environment of crime.

“The identification and freezing of over $1.5 million of cryptocurrency in these circumstances highlights the current digital environment in which law enforcement agencies must operate,” Detective Senior Sergeant Matthews said.

“Using the latest technologies and digital forensic techniques we thoroughly investigate all possible methods of holding financial assets, and will target all forms of wealth that may be derived from the illicit drug trade.”

“The ongoing partnerships between state and Commonwealth law enforcement agencies continue to provide WA Police Force with new intelligence and new lines of investigation to act on.”

ABF WA Regional Commander Rod O’Donnell said the discovery was “one less hit that could potentially ruin someone’s life and the lives of those around them.”

“Our officers are awake to the many creative methods criminals try to import these dangerous drugs, and they will continue to do everything they can to stop them at the border,” Commander O’Donnell said.

“This is another example of how the collaborative efforts of the ABF and its State and Federal law enforcement partners are protecting the community.”

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