THE state Liberals say successful drug and weapon busts by Tasmania Police in the past week show that organised crime is a bigger problem than Police Minister David O'Byrne will admit.
But the government has hit back by stating that the police force, with the assistance of unexplained wealth legislation and the Australian Federal Police and Customs, is strong enough to disrupt criminal activity across numerous jurisdictions.
A government spokeswoman said the success of operations Vouch and Webb demonstrated Tasmania Police's ability to mount significant actions against organised crime.
On Wednesday, detectives from the Launceston CIB seized more than $150,000 in cash and four handguns that they allege were bound for New South Wales aboard a Jetstar flight out of Launceston Airport.
Further investigations in the Launceston area saw Operation Webb seize two more unregistered handguns, another $30,000 in cash, and methylamphetamine and cocaine with an estimated street value of $95,000.
As a result, Tasmania Police contacted NSW counterparts, whose Strike Force Whitfield uncovered a clandestine laboratory and more drugs in that state.
"Tasmania Police have a strong track record in solving crime and keeping our community safe, and are working collaboratively with other law enforcement agencies," the spokeswoman said.
"The unexplained wealth legislation passed in the lower house last month will also be an important new tool in the fight against organised crime."
But opposition police spokeswoman Elise Archer said the only solution to serious crime in the community was a serious and organised crime squad.
"The success of police operations Vouch and Webb proves what the Police Minister has repeatedly tried to deny, and that is the existence of organised crime in Tasmania," Ms Archer said.