Mexican drug cartels pushing tonnes of meth on Australians: AFP

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Mexican drug cartels are pushing tonnes of methamphetamine into Australia, with North America producers overtaking Southeast Asian countries as the biggest suppliers of the illicit substance in the country.

The Australian Federal Police revealed at least 70 per cent of Australia’s methamphetamine market is now supplied by North American countries like Mexico, United States and Canada.

In 2022-23, the AFP and its foreign counterparts stopped more than 23.6 tonnes of meth produced in North America from hitting Australian shores.

This included 4.36 tonnes that was seized in Australia.

In that same year, Australians consumed 10.5 tonnes of the drug, which was the second most consumed drug in the country, according to the National Wastewater Monitoring Drug Program.

Recent intelligence revealed it was cheaper for organised crime gangs to procure meth from North America than South East Asia.

The price for producing one kilogram of meth in Mexico was about $1000, while in Myanmar prices could stretch from $3000 to $5000 for the same amount, authorities said.

AFP commander Jared Taggart said Australia was an enticing market for organised crime groups who were exploiting people to derive large profits.

He said cheaper wholesale prices and Mexican cartels’ ability to effectively conceal drugs were likely contributing factors to the increased volume of North American meth in Australia.

“The AFP estimates that since 2021, our seizures of Southeast Asian-produced methamphetamine in Australia has decreased notably, accounting for less than 15 per cent of total methamphetamine seized in 2023,” he said.

“The AFP has a presence in 33 countries and works closely and collaboratively with our Southeast Asian and North American law enforcement partners to disrupt methamphetamine trafficking at the source.

“Additionally, the AFP and our global partners have arrested and prosecuted key members of a significant Asian organised crime syndicates in October 2020 and January 2021.”