Illicit Drug Data Report

Illicit Drug Data Report 2016‑17

Key findings

Purity and forensics

Forensic analysis of seized drugs provides valuable insight into purity levels, as well as identifying the route of synthesis for methylamphetamine and MDMA and the origin of heroin and cocaine in Australia.

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Border detections

The international mail stream continues to account for the greatest proportion of the number of illicit drug detections at the Australian border; however, the importation stream accounting for the greatest proportion of the weight detected varies across drug types.

Importation Stream, by weight

Air cargo

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Cocaine 45.7%

Sea cargo

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ATS (ex. MDMA) 57.7%

Air Passengers/crew

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Heroin 35.8%

International mail

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MDMA 57.3%
Cannabis 49.1%

Importation Stream, by number

International mail

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MDMA 99.2%
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Cannabis 98.8%
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Cocaine 94.3%
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ATS (ex. MDMA) 90.6%
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Heroin 87.7%

Clandestine labs and precursors

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The number of clandestine laboratories detected nationally decreased for the fifth consecutive reporting period in 2016‑17, with the majority of labs detected in Australia producing methylamphetamine and located in residential areas.

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User reporting

User reporting provides valuable insight into trends in illicit drug markets.

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National seizures and arrests

In 2016‑17, the number and weight of national seizures and arrests reported by Australian police services equates to:

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1 Seizure every 5 Mins
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1 kg seized every 19 mins
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1 arrest every 3.5 mins

National illicit drug arrests

The record 154,650 national drug arrests is enough to fill AAMI stadium three times.

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154,650 Drug arrests

National illicit drug seizures

The record 27.4 tonnes of illicit drugs seized nationally in 2016‑17 is more than double the weight of a QE2 anchor.

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27.4Tonnes
Drugs seized

The 113,533 national illicit drug seizures in 2016‑17 was almost double the number of flights between Sydney and Melbourne, the busiest national route.

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113,533 Drug Seizures

Data sources & Explanatory notes

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