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Illegal psychoactive drugs 'sold from Perth shops'

More than a dozen people have been charged after they allegedly sold prohibited psychoactive substances from retail stores in Perth.

Police said 314 charges had been laid against 18 people, aged between 20 and 33, after raids at stores in Rockingham, Armadale, Victoria Park, Mandurah, Wanneroo and Highgate between November and July.

Metropolitan region north Acting Commander Mary Brown said the protracted and complex investigation had resulted in the seizure of 4573 items.

Acting Commissioner Brown confirmed at least one of the store owners had been charged, but could not provide more details as the matters are before the courts.

"If there is direct evidence to show that the proprietor of any of the stores is either making the product available or was aware that the item is being sold, then yes, we can prefer charges against that person," she said.

She said police had anecdotally reported seeing less of the substances in retail outlets since legislation came into effect last year, but it was possible more charges would be laid in coming months as the investigation continued.

The Misuse of Drugs Amendment (Psychoactive Substances) Bill 2015 was passed in parliament in October, more than four years after synthetic cannabis products such as Kronic became illegal in the state.

The legislation was a response to manufacturers who used a legal loophole by altering a product's chemical composition.

The accused people have all been charged by summons, and courts dates and locations are yet to be confirmed.


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