26-yo Australian tries to smuggle $5M of drugs on Spirit of Tasmania ferry

   November 7, 2023 ,   Accidents

In one of Tasmania's most substantial drug apprehensions, law enforcement authorities intercepted a 26-year-old man from Queensland Australia who purportedly attempted to smuggle $5 million worth of cocaine and methylamphetamine into the state via a ferry.

The arrest took place in Devonport, located in northwest Tasmania, following the suspect's arrival on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry from Geelong on Friday evening, November 3.

Upon disembarkation, the individual was subjected to screening by drug detection canines. After this, a search of his vehicle reportedly revealed 4 kilograms of methylamphetamine and 2 kilograms of cocaine stored in the vehicle's trunk.

Rob Blackwood (Tasmania Police Assistant Commissioner) stated that was one of the biggest seizures of methylamphetamine and cocaine in Tasmania's history, emphasizing the potential impact in reducing illicit substance-related harm in the community. According to law enforcement, the confiscated quantity equates to ~42600 individual street doses of methylamphetamine and ~2300 doses of cocaine.

It remains undisclosed whether the suspect was specifically targeted, as investigations continue. The individual has been detained in custody and is expected to appear in Devonport Magistrates Court on drug trafficking charges.

This operation was conducted jointly by the Tasmanian police and the Australian Federal Police, with the collaboration of the Spirit of Tasmania.

Hilda Sirec (AFP Assistant Commissioner) highlighted the pervasive demand for drugs throughout the country and underscored the commitment of law enforcement agencies to collectively combat drug trafficking.

In a related event in March 2022, authorities seized 15 kg of cocaine that had arrived in Tasmania from Sydney NSW in a shipping container. However, no charges have been filed in connection with that incident thus far.