There are renewed calls for Australian Federal Police at Hobart International Airport after two major drug busts last week.
Tasmania Police seized more than $1 million worth of drugs across Thursday and Friday, which was being brought in from Sydney.
The first bust on Thursday saw a Mowbray man charged with trafficking after he was allegedly caught hiding cocaine and methamphetamine in his clothing.
The drugs were estimated to be worth more than $145,000.
A Victorian man was also charged with trafficking as well as obtaining an airline ticket under a false name.
He had allegedly tried to hide 260 grams of methamphetamine and 134 grams of cocaine, valued at more than $170,000.
On Friday, a Hobart man was stopped by police at the airport.
Police said $1 million worth of ice was found in his underwear.
The 31-year-old from Gagebrook was arrested and charged with trafficking.
The Police Association of Tasmania has praised the efforts of local officers, but is again calling for a permanent presence at the airport.
Acting president Gavin Cashion said the operation highlighted what could be achieved if a dedicated Tasmania Police squad or the Australian Federal Police were based at the airport.
“We need police to be proactively target testing, screening and using detection dogs on all passengers who are disembarking,” Mr Cashion said.
“Our members are essentially reactive when it comes to incidents at the airport or in screening passengers.
“With more direct flights to and from Tasmania and future plans for international flights, it is not matter of if but when will we once again see AFP officers at our major airports.
“We seriously need their assistance and the resources that they can bring – that is, trained detection dogs.”
Mr Cashion said intelligence was used in the recent police operations.
“But you can’t beat boots on the ground … police eyes and ears scanning the airports to gather timely intelligence. Our people know who is who in the zoo.
“But our drug squads are already stretched and punching above their weight in this regard.
“With some national assistance they could really put some heat on those who deal and traffic in this poison.”
Police Minister Michael Ferguson said he continued to have discussions with the association about airport security.
“Airport security is under continual review and the Australian Government has given a commitment that if the risk profile changes, they will work with law enforcement, security agencies and industry to take appropriate extra action,” he said.
“In the meantime, Tasmania Police has responsibility for policing operations at the Hobart Airport, and they are doing a top job, which has been evident in recent successes.
“Australian Federal Police maintains an office in Hobart and their staff work very closely with Tasmania Police.”
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