Crackdown on illicit drug trade strikes a blow to organised crime

Crime Stoppers Australia has declared its recent National Illicit Drugs campaign as the largest and most effective initiative ever developed and executed by the organisation.

The $3.55m campaign – which was funded through assets confiscated from criminals – increased information flows to police about illicit drug activity and organised crime. Remarkably, the assets confiscated as a direct result of this latest campaign have already exceeded the grant funding from the Commonwealth Government.

Crime Stoppers Australia Chair, Ian Stewart, said seizure of real estate, cars, cash and other high-value assets obtained through proceeds of crime really is the sting in the tail for those involved in crime.

“People involved in the illicit drug trade are out to make as much money as they can and don’t give a second thought to the pain and suffering they cause, so having their criminal assets seized by police makes all that effort and risk ultimately worth nothing,” Mr Stewart said.

“The option to remain anonymous proved to be a major drawcard to people wanting to share information. Contacts to Crime Stoppers resulted in 41,326 drug-specific Information Reports raised for investigation by law enforcement – which is a 10.5% increase compared to the same period last year,” he said.

Crime Stoppers received reports that covered the entire spectrum of the illicit drug trade, including importation activity, commercial manufacturing and distribution. That information has already seen police apprehend 530 people and lay 2,644 charges – and that number is expected to grow as other complex investigations continue to progress.

In addition to targeted advertising and local community activations across the nation, a major area of focus for Crime Stoppers was engaging organisations across the shipping, logistics and transport sectors to highlight the red flags to look out for so they avoid unwittingly becoming involved in illegal transactions.

The following major results were achieved:

  • Active engagement with transport, logistics and freight sectors and industry associations. More than 52 industry briefings and presentations occurred as well as amplification of campaign messaging by major national organisations,
  • Delivery of local engagement opportunities, with 132 community activations across the nation,
  • 41,326 drug-specific Information Reports raised for investigation, reflecting a 10.5% increase nationally compared to the same period last year,
  • More than 530 apprehensions and 2,644 charges laid to date,
  • Major investigative outcomes have confirmed seizure of criminal assets have already exceeded the totality of campaign funding.

The campaign was launched with the message “They’ll never know it was you” and looked to encourage those closest to the illicit drug trade to anonymously share information with Crime Stoppers.

Anyone with information about the illicit drug trade can contact Crime Stoppers by calling a toll-free hotline on 1800 333 000 or reporting online at