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Australia warns of crystal meth pandemic as drug busts hit record high

Published on Apr 29, 2014 3:25 PM
This file handout photo received on Feb 28, 2013, shows Australian Federal Police officers with some of their largest ever seizure of methamphetamine, with an estimated street value of around US$446 million. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia is facing a crystal meth pandemic, the authorities warned on Tuesday as they announced arrests and seizures over illicit drugs reached an all-time high last year.

The government-run Australian Crime Commission (ACC) said in a report that the situation was "gravely serious", with international cartels at the heart of the problem.

"National illicit drug seizures and arrests were at record or decade highs for nearly all drug types in this reporting period," said ACC acting chief executive Paul Jevtovic. "Illicit drug use in Australia, and the profits gained from it, is directly linked to transnational organised crime groups that are implicated in large-scale criminality and corruption overseas."

During the financial year to July 2013, a record 101,749 arrests were made and there were 86,918 seizures of illicit drugs - a 66 per cent increase over the past decade.

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