CANBERRA, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- South Australia (SA) has become the nation's first state to launch a multi-agency task force targeting methylamphetamine supply and distribution.
Led by SA Police and starting on Friday, the Joint Agency Ice Strike Team is a cooperative effort between the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Australian Border Force (ABF) Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and Department of Home Affairs.
The law enforcement agencies will focus on the international drug trade as well as local dealers to reduce illegal drug use.
Methylamphetamine, commonly known as ice, has become one of the most harmful illicit drugs in Australia, particularly in regional communities.
"When you look at the wastewater data, when you look at some of the seizures that have occurred in the last couple of years, you've got the clandestine labs that have been dismantled last year as well, this state is certainly one of the good places to start," AFP Commander Peter Sykora told reporters in Adelaide, the capital city of SA, on Friday.
"We know mostly who the people are, but in this process we will eventually identify others as well."
SA Police in October 2018 discovered an industrial-sized ice "super lab" capable of producing "hundreds of millions of dollars" worth of methylamphetamine in suburban Adelaide.
"We have made significant progress in reducing the supply of methylamphetamine to our community, from shutting down clandestine drug laboratories to dismantling local drug trafficking rings," SA Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Scott Duval said on Friday.
"While there is an insatiable demand for this illicit drug across South Australia, criminal networks will continue to use every means possible to import and manufacture the harmful substance and profit from our community."