Police charge man after mail drug seizure

Detectives from Joint Task Force Icarus arrested a man yesterday as part of an investigation into the illegal trafficking of prescription drugs via the domestic mail.

Police detected a package holding 1000 containers of benzodiazepine, with a street value of approximately $220,000.

The drug is subject to strict legislative controls and only available in Australia via prescription.

Investigators believe the tablets have been diverted from a legitimate wholesale or commercial stream, or have been counterfeited.

A 29-year-old Melbourne man was arrested by detectives and a search of his Little Lonsdale Street property was conducted.

Police also seized further drugs, believed to be steroids, from the address.

The man was charged with a number of drug offences and faced Melbourne Magistrates’ Court last night.

He was bailed to appear again on 10 October, 2019.

The investigation remains ongoing.

Detective Superintendent Deb Robertson of the Crime Command Organised Crime Division said that this seizure highlights a significant risk to the community.

“The people that these drugs were destined for would have purchased them without the protection of proper controls, ignorant of the true nature of the tablets’ contents, and not taken them for the purpose that these drugs were very strictly developed and tested for,” she said.

“In 2017, there were 523 Victorian overdose deaths and benzodiazepines contributed to 303 of those deaths.

“To buy prescription drugs other than from a pharmacy and to consume such drugs in any way that is not in strict compliance with the instructions of a medical practitioner is courting tragedy.”

Task Force Icarus is a joint agency initiative involving Victoria Police, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Border Force that targets those who seek to use the mail systems for criminal activity.

Australia’s law enforcement agencies need the community’s ongoing assistance to minimise the harm caused by drugs, and urge anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or to submit at confidential crime report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

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