CANBERRA — Australia’s “enormous appetite” for the crystal methamphetamine, commonly known as “ice,” has forced the federal government to announce a new global strategy to protect Australians from the international drug trade, Justice Minister Michael Keenan said on Tuesday.
Speaking to the press alongside representatives from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in Perth, Keenan said that the strategy called the International Engagement Methamphetamine Disruption Strategy (IEMDS) would better protect the local community from the scourge of ice.
“Australia has an enormous appetite for crystal methamphetamine, which is otherwise known as ice. Indeed, the demand here is the highest in the world,” Keenan told the media.
“The government has been very concerned about ice — particularly about the effects it has on users — and we were determined to do something about it.”
In a press release, Keenan said the IEMDS would pave the way for “enhanced cooperation between government agencies and our regional and global partners as we work to stop the trafficking of methamphetamine.”
“The strategy we release today is an important measure for strengthening international engagement, with a focus on disrupting the supply of methamphetamine at its source,” Keenan said.
The minister pointed to Taskforce Blaze — a joint cooperation effort between Australian and Chinese to fight illicit drugs — as one of the examples of why further international cooperation would help stop ice from ruining the lives of Australians.
“Taskforce Blaze is a great example of the effectiveness of this international cooperation, with Australian and Chinese authorities stopping 13 tons of drugs, including six tons of methamphetamine, from reaching our streets,” Keenan said.
“Make no mistake: the (federal) government will continue to use every weapon in our arsenal to break the business models of drug dealers and organized crime gangs that rely and thrive on the profits of illicit drugs.” (Xinhua)