– The high Aussie dollar is attracting drug traffickers and offshore organised crime syndicates on a scale never seen before.
Customs officers are seizing a record average of 374 packages of illicit drugs a week in the mail and the Australian Crime Commission blames the dollar – and people willing to pay top dollar for their drugs.
The stronger currency means bigger profits for syndicates, making Australia very attractive to suppliers, according to the ACC.
In 2008-09 customs officers seized more than 8410 packages in the mail, while last financial year that number jumped to 19,440.
Customs confirmed a noticeable increase in detection of illicit drugs through international mail in the past three financial years.
The warning comes after the Australian Federal Police made a record $500 million drug bust in July.
More than half a tonne of drugs, including 306 kg of crystal methamphetamine, also known as ice, and 252 kg of heroin, were seized and seven people charged.
Last week, police seized 235 kg of methamphetamine and 115 kg of cocaine with an estimated value of $237 million. The drugs were found hidden inside tractors and other heavy machinery on board a ship.
Customs and Border Protection confirmed the rise in illicit drugs from the US, the Netherlands, China, Hong Kong and Thailand.
The ACC also warned Australia was becoming a hot spot for investment fraud the longer the dollar remains strong – Alex White