>Police and defence force investigators have raided a north Queensland army base following allegations of drug abuse by soldiers.
In a statement, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) has confirmed it’s begun an investigation into the alleged use of illicit substance by soldiers at Townsville’s Lavarack Barracks.
The ADF declined to comment further on the raids as the investigation, carried out with Queensland Police, was continuing.
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However, it is believed the barracks and a number of soldiers’ homes have been raided.
The allegations were raised by a soldier’s former partner, the Townsville Bulletin reported.
The woman, who has not been named, told the paper she raised the allegations after discovering her partner had been using steroids in their home.
She said she had moved interstate after becoming the target of abuse from soldiers.
“When I reported this, because, obviously, they found out I’ve been talking to somebody, I was intimidated into leaving my home,” she told the paper.
She claimed it was common practice for some soldiers to buy steroids and other drugs cheaply while deployed overseas, in places like Afghanistan, and then sell them for a higher price at home.
“They’re importing these drugs, they’re coming directly into the country from Afghanistan and then they’re on-selling them with no repercussions. The army doesn’t care,” she said.
The ADF said all personnel were educated, annually, in the dangers of substance abuse.
It said the investigation was not linked to previous raids at defence bases in Cairns and Sydney.