Man charged after raid nets $2.6m in crystal amphetamine
ORGANISED crime detectives are investigating bikie links to a $2.6m haul of crystal methylamphetamine found at a Stirling house after an anonymous tip-off.
The seizure comes as concerned police yesterday revealed that WA had the highest number of methylamphetamine addicts per capita of anywhere in Australia.
On Friday, detectives raided the house after a tip-off suggested drugs were stashed at the property.
There, they allegedly uncovered 2.67kg of crystal methylamphetamine compressed and moulded into take-away containers, $46,000 in cash and 240ml of anabolic steroids in 24 individual viles hidden in the house.
``It's one of the biggest hauls we've had this year,'' said Detective Superintendent Charlie Carver, head of the Serious and Organised Crime Division.
``The seizure is significant...To get that amount of drugs off the street is a win.
``Western Australia per capita has the highest amount of methylamphetamine addiction in the country. That is concerning and obviously we trying to restrict trafficable amounts coming into the state.''
A 32-year-old man has been charged with possessing methylamphetamine with intent to sell or supply, possessing steroids with intent to sell or supply and the unlawful possession of property relating to the cash seized. He will appear in Perth Magistrates Court on December 17.
Det-Supt Carver said detectives were investigating links between the drugs and all bikie gangs in WA.
He said police had not yet determined if the crystal methylamphetamine had been manufactured locally or had been imported into Australia from offshore.
But there was no evidence of drug production at the Stirling house when police launched the raid on Friday.
Purity tests would be conducted on the seized drugs in coming days, he said.
Det-Supt Carver refused to name the street where the house was raided or identify the charged man for ``operational reasons'' amid ongoing investigations.
``We are investigating vigorously and we will continue to investigate people who traffic drugs,'' he said.
``Any drugs are dangerous and obviously have side effects and can be fatal.''
Assets valued at $700,000, including the Stirling house and the seized $46,000 in cash, have been frozen under proceeds of crime laws.
Friday's find comes after police this week revealed that they had seized 42,000 pills, initially believed to be ecstasy worth $1.6 million. Analysis later showed the tablets to be benzylpiperazine or BZP, a drug with similar effects to ecstasy and MDMA.
The 14kg stash of potentially lethal green-coloured pills, embossed with Nike tick and Apple Mac logos, were found loaded into one of three suitcases on Tuesday, November 24 the eve of Schoolies festivities. Police have not disclosed where the drugs were found
And in late October, police claimed to have smashed a major drug manufacturing syndicate after uncovering 100kg of red phosphorous with a potential to make $26 million of methylamphetamine.
Acting on intelligence, detectives discovered two stashes of the chemical, commonly used in fireworks and flares, buried underground about 50km from Port Hedland.
WA Police have uncovered more than 117 clandestine drug labs this year, many used to manufacture amphetamine type stimulants including methylamphetamine. Last year, just 28 drug labs were found.
The Australian Crime Commission's latest Illicit Drug Data Report shows that users pay between $250 and $700 per gram of methylamphetamine, with WA users paying among the lowest prices in the country.
Nicole Cox, police reporter
December 05, 2009 11:30am
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