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Operation Vitreus
Operation Vitreus was a national co-ordinated policing campaign focused on detecting drugs being distributed by the Australian postal service. The operation was co-ordinated by the National Methylamphetamine Strategy Group, which is currently lead by the South Australian Police (SAPOL) but involved all state and territory police agencies, as well as the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Australian Border Force (ABF), the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and AUSTRAC.

With tens of thousands of mail items scanned throughout the country at state and international mail exchanges over two days, authorities located an alarming amount of illicit substances. The largest seizures were of methylamphetamine, cannabis, and cocaine with a total of 62 illicit drugs or illegally obtained prescription medications.

Parcel post interceptions could add up to significant drug seizures. Though the packages being intercepted may appear to be only small amounts of illicit substances, in totality these can equate to substantial quantities of drugs being seized and significant disruption to criminal networks.

SAPOL Assistant Commissioner Scott Duval said people who used the postal service to transport drugs either internationally, interstate or locally could face very serious charges of trafficking or importation. “This operation involved significant law enforcement co-operation and should serve as a warning to criminals who try to import or distribute drugs even in small amounts via the mail,” he said.

Packages were examined by mobile x-ray units to identify and locate prohibited drugs, with police then conducting follow up inquiries in the days following. The operation was conducted at different times in different states over the last month and will be an ongoing policing strategy to detect postal drug shipments of any weight. Arrests have been made by each commonwealth, State and Territory agency, with some investigations ongoing and further charges likely to be laid.