Scott Morrison urges Aussies to help crush criminal gangs by not taking drugs


Australians who take illegal party drugs ‘ruin lives and fuel organised crime’ as exposed by the nation’s biggest ever police bust, Scott Morrison has said. 

The Prime Minster addressed the nation on Tuesday after more than 100 organised criminals were arrested across Australia, the US and Europe in a series of raids over the past few weeks.

He vowed to ensure the police would get the funding they need from his government to keep the public safe – and then explained how everyone can help crush the criminal gangs.

A bag of cash seized during a series of raids on criminal gangs in a major sting operation by the AFP

A bag of cash seized during a series of raids on criminal gangs in a major sting operation by the AFP

‘All of us have a responsibility, in our own relationships and our own families, in our own communities, to be doing what we can to encourage positive behaviours that don’t indulge illicit drug use,’ Mr Morrison said.

The Prime Minister, who is a Pentecostal Christian and a father of two daughters, said: ‘There’s nothing social about illicit drug use in this country.

‘It fuels organised crime in this country. It fuels human misery in this country and in many parts of the world. There’s nothing social about it. It’s dangerous.’ 

Mr Morrison said criminals target Australia because there is a lucrative customer base who want to buy drugs. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the AFP operation, known as Operation Ironside, had struck a ‘heavy blow’ against criminals

This image shows a man arrested as part of the AFP raids over the past few weeks

This image shows a man arrested as part of the AFP raids over the past few weeks 

An Australian Federal Police-led operation has charged more than one hundred organised crime members after developing a world-leading capability to see encrypted communications. Pictured: A car is seized from a suspect

An Australian Federal Police-led operation has charged more than one hundred organised crime members after developing a world-leading capability to see encrypted communications. Pictured: A car is seized from a suspect

‘They believe that you would be a customer, and you would be inviting them to come and peddle this in our country, on our streets, in our cities, in our regional towns,’ he said.

Urging parents to teach their children about the danger of illegal drugs, he added: ‘We all also have a job to do when it comes to illicit drug use in this country. We all have a role to play. 

‘Let’s keep Australia safe. Let’s ensure that illicit drug use in this country doesn’t steal our futures and particularly for our children.’   

The multi-nation sting came after police covertly monitored suspects for three years using an encrypted communication app called ‘AN0M’.

The criminals used the app, which was secretly developed by the FBI and the Australian Federal Police, to message each other around the world, unaware everything they said was being intercepted by FBI special agents and the Australian Federal Police.   

Scott Morrison’s urges Aussies not to take drugs as they fuel gangs

‘People sitting at home might be thinking – what can we do to help the AFP? 

‘In this battle against organised crime in this country. I want to make a few comments about illicit drug use in this country. 

‘There’s nothing social about illicit drug use in this country. It fuels organised crime in this country.

‘It fuels human misery in this country and in many parts of the world. There’s nothing social about it. It’s dangerous. 

‘And all of us have a responsibility, all of us have a responsibility in our own relationships and our own families, in our own communities, to be doing what we can to encourage positive behaviours, positive behaviours that don’t indulge illicit drug use. 

‘Illicit drug use ruins lives and it fuels organised crime. You heard it from the Commissioner himself – the reason Australia gets targeted by these criminal gangs is because they believe they can sell their wares.

‘They believe that you would be a customer, and you would be inviting them to come and peddle this in our country, on our streets, in our cities, in our regional towns.

‘This reaches right across the country. It’s a very serious issue. The AFP will do their job and we’ll make sure that they’re resourced to do their job.

‘But we all also have a job to do when it comes to illicit drug use in this country. We all have a role to play. Let’s keep Australia safe. Let’s ensure that illicit drug use in this country doesn’t steal our futures and particularly for our children.’ 

The Anom app gained currency in the underworld after being promoted by drug kingpins  such as Australia’s most wanted man, Hakan Ayik, after first being distributed by police informants.

Through the covert operation, detectives uncovered 21 murder plots, gun distribution and mass drug trafficking, federal police say.

Senior investigators said ‘100 per cent’ of telephone conversations intercepted on the devices were all business and in relation to criminal activity.

Australian Federal Police announced on Tuesday they had seized 3.7 tonnes of drugs, 104 weapons and almost $45million in cash as part of the operation – which was three years in the making.

Offenders are linked to the Australian-based Italian mafia, outlaw motorcycle gangs, Asian crime syndicates and Albanian organised crime figures.

Police have charged 224 alleged offenders with 525 charges, shut down six clandestine laboratories and acted on 21 threats to kill, including saving a family of five.

Ninja Warrior 2017 contestant Sopiea Kong was among those arrested. The 33-year-old was charged last week following a raid at a Kangaroo Point home, where police allegedly seized 154g of meth

Ninja Warrior 2017 contestant Sopiea Kong was among those arrested. The 33-year-old was charged last week following a raid at a Kangaroo Point home, where police allegedly seized 154g of meth

Former Bachelorette star Samuel Minkin (pictured), who appeared on Becky and Elly Miles' season of the dating show, was charged with possessing a large commercial quantity of cannabis after police stopped a van in Byron Bay last month

Former Bachelorette star Samuel Minkin (pictured), who appeared on Becky and Elly Miles’ season of the dating show, was charged with possessing a large commercial quantity of cannabis after police stopped a van in Byron Bay last month 

Mr Morrison said the AFP operation, known as Operation Ironside, had struck a ‘heavy blow’ against criminals.

‘The operation puts Australia at the forefront of the fight against criminals who peddle in human misery and ultimately, it will keep our communities and Australians safe,’ he said on Tuesday.

‘Illicit drug use ruins lives and fuels organised crime.’

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw said federal agents had been in the ‘back pockets’ of criminals through the encryption app.

‘The FBI had the lead on this. We provided the technical capability to decrypt those messages,’ he said.  

Ninja Warrior 2017 contestant Sopiea Kong was among those arrested. The 33-year-old was charged last week following a raid at a Kangaroo Point home, where police allegedly seized 154g of meth.

Kong, who was also allegedly in possession of $2,030 cash and a revolver, was granted bail and will appear in court on June 28.

Former Bachelorette star Samuel Minkin, who appeared on Becky and Elly Miles’ season of the dating show, was charged with possessing a large commercial quantity of cannabis after police stopped a van in Byron Bay last month. 

Former Bandito bikie Benjamin Joseph Thornton, 31, was arrested after police seized two mobile phones and a small quantity of cocaine. He was denied bail and will reappear in court next week. 

The bust exposed new details about how one of Australia’s most wanted fugitives gave police extensive access to the world’s criminal underworld. 

Police have charged 224 alleged offenders with 525 charges, shut down six clandestine laboratories and acted on 21 threats to kill, including saving a family of five. Pictured: weapons seized by detectives

Police have charged 224 alleged offenders with 525 charges, shut down six clandestine laboratories and acted on 21 threats to kill, including saving a family of five. Pictured: weapons seized by detectives 

Hakan Ayik (pictured) gave police extensive access to the world's criminal underworld through encrypted communications app AN0M

Hakan Ayik (pictured) gave police extensive access to the world’s criminal underworld through encrypted communications app AN0M



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