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AHA plea after cops make meth bust in short-stay house

July 10, 2020 Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

The Australian Hotels Association is pressing for better regulation of short-stay accommodation, and the platforms that offer it, after a police raid netted $10 million worth of the drug “ice” or “crystal meth” (methamphetamine) from a short-stay rental property.

Three accused drug dealers tried to flee and a fourth gave up as police swooped on a short-stay premises in Perth’s south, WA Today reported. Officers uncovered a large quantity of drugs and cash.

The report outlined a police raid on a house in the suburb of Manning, that had been booked online on 16 June 2020. As police approached, three men allegedly ran from the property. One tried to escape through a side door, another jumped a fence and a third sprinted away down the road. Police arrested all three – along with a woman who stayed behind and surrendered.

Police then searched a BMW in the garage and the property, where they uncovered 10 kilograms of meth and $250,000, the report said. The four suspects were charged with possessing a trafficable amount of methamphetamine with intent to sell or supply and having stolen items. They were refused bail at Perth Magistrates Court and will front court again at a later date.

Acting Assistant Police Commissioner Allan Adams said the size of the seizure indicated an organised crime syndicate.

“The seizing of 10 kilograms of methamphetamine represents the removal of 100,000 hits of the drug from the streets of Western Australia,” Adams said.

In the wake of that action, the Australian Hotels Association’s Western Australian chapter (AHAWA) is demanding the WA Government regulate short-stay accommodation platforms.

AHAWA chief executive Bradley Woods said WA Police had highlighted the growing trend of lawbreakers to use short-stay accommodation properties to engage in criminal conduct.

“We have known for some time that unregulated short-stay accommodation had the potential to allow criminal behaviour to flourish in our suburbs and sadly several reports now prove this has become a reality,” Woods said.

WA Police Organised Crime Squad “meth truck”. Source: WA Police

A statement by AHAWA quoted Adams sounding the alarm when he said:

“One of the other issues we are confronted with more recently is the use of short-term accommodation by these drug dealers.

“What we do put a call out for is to the broader community that live in close proximity to those premises. We believe they would be in the best position to identify suspicious individuals or individuals who don’t fit within their local community, that activity emanating from those short term accommodation premises is highly suspicious, we ask for their assistance to come forward when they observe that behaviour and contact their local police.”

Woods said rather than having the community police their own suburbs, now was the time to finally impose meaningful regulation “of an industry that is clearly being exploited by organised criminals”.

“In the absence of meaningful regulation, criminals are exploiting short stay properties littered throughout WA, making the need for reform more urgent than ever,” Woods said.

“It is entirely unacceptable that community members are expected to monitor unregulated short-stay properties for illegal behaviour – the solution is to take these quasi-hotels out of suburbs where they should never have been allowed to operate in the first place.

“The WA Government has indicated they are progressing proposed reforms and we urge all Parliamentarians to urgently address this issue to restore law and order in WA’s suburbs.

“Western Australians deserve to know that they can live safely in their communities without fear of having a criminal syndicate operating with impunity next door.”

The battle against crystal meth and its dealers is nothing new for WA police.

Three years ago, they added a new weapon to their arsenal in a bid to stem the flow of meth and other drugs into WA.

Named the “meth truck”, the hi-tech vehicle is fitted with a Smiths Hi-Scan X-ray unit, similar to those used at security checkpoints in airports.

The WA Police Organised Crime Squad Meth Transport Teams have deployed the truck to drug-transit routes across WA, to target criminal syndicates that try to traffic meth and other illicit drugs into the State.

The technology is also being used at mail packaging centres and freight handling facilities across WA.

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. bruce weston says:

    haha is this some sort of a joke ?? the dealers flock to hotels and motels for short term ‘hiding’ and here the AHA is going on about more control on residential accommodation — i have to laugh – in my town we have a never ending stream of ‘dealers ‘ trying to book in and even ‘cook ‘ – we have interaction all the time swapping names and car plate numbers of those we will not let in . The law enforcement agencies have absolutely no interest whatsoever – The On line booking agents are the worse – Expedia and Airbnb – they allow any one to book with no check whatsoever , how can they – they are in another country !! -it takes a seasoned eye to pick this type of booking but usually the giveaway is last minute booking – arriving late and a debit card wont work with the excuse’ will pay cash ‘

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