Drugs, cash and drugs seized in Tasmania during Operation Vitreus

Tasmania Police dog Fang. Picture: Paul Scambler
Tasmania Police dog Fang. Picture: Paul Scambler

Tasmania Police has seized $250,000 of ecstasy trying to enter the state through the post.

Police were involved in a number of searches across the state as part of Operation Vitreus Week of Action 2018. 

The searches resulted in a number of arrests as well as seizing guns, drugs and cash. 

Tasmania Police Detective Inspector of Southern Drug Investigation Services Colin Riley said two ecstasy packages were discovered in the mail. 

“The packages were going to Hobart,” he said. 

“The issue with ice or any illicit drugs is it is a commodity, so as long as there is demand for the commodity criminal organisations are going to bring them in to the state.” 

Cannabis seized at Devonport. Picture: Tasmania Police

Cannabis seized at Devonport. Picture: Tasmania Police

An Australian Border Force mobile x-ray machine was used to check baggage and freight for illegal items.

Nearly 760 Spirit of Tasmania passengers were screened for drugs, alcohol, drug driving, and current registration and licences.

Five search warrants executed as part of the operation resulted in two seizures of trafficable quantities of ecstasy and several smaller seizures of cannabis, ice, cocaine, magic mushrooms and prescription medication. 

Police also seized $5000 in cash, a replica military-style assault rifle and a rifle with a scope. 

The guns were seized at two different houses during the search warrant.

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Four people were charged with selling a controlled drug, several people were issued with drug diversion and caution notices for minor drug offences, a number of drivers were found with illicit drugs in their blood, and police are investigating two incidents of trafficking a controlled substance. 

Police were targeting ice and other illicit drugs in the community, during the week of action.

Detective Inspector Riley said the week of action’s purpose was to demonstrate the efforts police go to to detect and disrupt criminals from importing and distributing ice in the community.

“We have ongoing efforts to disrupt that by targeting those corridors in which those illicit drugs can come into Tasmania,” he said.

Detective Inspector Riley said ice was not only damaging to people’s health but also to law and order. 

Screening was also conducted at Australia Post mail centres, freight centres, cars and arrivals at Launceston Airport, Hobart International Airport, Devonport Airport and Wynyard Airport.

More than 25 officers from Tasmania Police, Australian Federal Police and Border Force were involved in the operation.

Five police dogs with drug and bomb detection capabilities were also used.

Tasmania’s very own police dog, Fang, took part in the operation.

Anyone who witnesses suspicious behaviour or the distribution of drugs should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.