The massive illicit drug footprint in NSW

This is the map and graph which shows how New South Wales easily made up the lion's share of billions of dollars worth of illicit drugs seized and burned by the Australia Federal Police this year.

Of the 25 tonnes of drugs vaporised in special furnaces, NSW accounted for 19.1 tonnes, or 76 per cent of the total burn.

NSW has long been considered the gateway into Australia for drug shipments from the US, Mexico, South America, Europe and Asia, and these AFP figures back that up.

READ MORE: Record 38.5 tonnes of illicit drugs worth $9 billion seized, as Australia's thirst for amphetamines grows

The AFP's Eastern Command in NSW sent nearly 20 tonnes of illicit drugs for destruction, including more than 15 tonnes of stimulants and one tonne of cocaine.

It also destroyed 9.3 tonnes of Gamma-Butyrolactone (GBL), a fast-acting stimulant linked to significant numbers of fatal overdoses.

Victoria and Tasmania, which make up AFP Southern Command, incinerated 3.7 tonnes, including more than 2 tonnes of khat, a stimulant found in the leaves of an East African shrub, 630kg of pseudoephedrine and 506kg of methamphetamine.

Northern Command, which covers Queensland and part of the Northern Territory north of Katherine, burned 1.9 tonnes, including 680kg of stimulants such as methamphetamine and MDMA, 530kg of cannabis and 200kg of cocaine.

READ MORE: How South American cartels smuggle cocaine into Australia

Western Central Command, made up of Western Australia, South Australia and up to Alice Springs in the NT, destroyed almost 900kg, including more than 260kg of stimulants and 505kg of cannabis.

The total weight of drugs burned by the AFP, which was monitored by armed officers, was the equivalent of four large adult male African elephants.

Temperatures inside the furnaces reach 1400 Celsius, which vaporise the drugs into a harmless steam.

For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.

Words: Mark Saunokonoko

Interactive graphics: Tara Blancato

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