Australian Border Force (ABF) and Hong Kong Customs and Excise have reinforced their partnership during a two-week operation targeting illicit drugs across Australia’s international mail centres.

During the joint operation, which ended on 29 October, the agencies worked together at Australia’s International Mail Gateway Facilities across Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane, as well as the Hong Kong Air Mail Centre to stop a number of attempted importations of illicit drugs and their precursors.

As a result of the collaboration between the ABF and Hong Kong Customs and Excise, there were a number of detections equating to more than 30 kilograms of illicit drugs or chemicals that did not make it into the illicit drugs market in Australia.

This operation is part of an enduring partnership between the two agencies to stem the flow of illicit drugs and contraband through international mail.

A/g Assistant Commissioner Strategic Border Command James Watson said the high profitability of the Australian domestic illicit drug market, relative to foreign illicit drug markets, continues to drive criminals and organised crime groups operating abroad to import illicit drugs and precursors into Australia.

“It is vital that we partner with our Hong Kong counterparts to curtail the flow of illicit goods into Australia – our ABF office in Hong Kong plays a vital role in this partnership.

“ABF officers across the country welcomed this opportunity to work with their Hong Kong counterparts to share information and help strengthen this important regional partnership,” A/g Assistant Commissioner Watson said.

Hong Kong Customs and Excise is a key strategic partner in the regional battle against the illicit drugs trade, particularly methamphetamine.

Both agencies are committed to further joint initiatives in the future.