Drug syndicate disrupted in long-running Tasmania Police investigation

Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Australian Federal Police, New South Wales Police Force, Tasmania Police

A drug syndicate has been disrupted, $2.7 million worth of drugs seized and 31 arrests made as part of a long-running and complex drug importation investigation by Tasmania Police.

Tasmania Police led Operation Monet - into the importation of illicit drugs into Tasmania - with the support of NSW Police, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.

The 18-month investigation resulted in overt action by police in both NSW and Tasmania, where a series of searches of premises were conducted, and arrests and seizures of drugs, cash, firearms and encrypted mobile communication devices were made.

Operation Monet involved more than 25 investigators and significant specialist support resources across Tasmania and other states. 

“This has been a significantly complex and long running drug investigation for Tasmania Police,” Assistant Commissioner Richard Cowling said.

“This investigation has resulted in 31 arrests, the seizure of drugs worth almost $3 million and has disrupted a significant drug syndicate operating between Tasmania and NSW.”

In excess of 40 search warrants were executed as part of the operation.

The following drug seizures, with a street value of approximately $ 2,701,320, were made as a result of the Operation:

-           8 seizures of trafficable quantities of methylamphetamine (“Ice”)

-           12 seizures of trafficable quantities of MDMA (Ecstasy) and cocaine

-           Smaller seizures of methylamphetamine (“Ice”), MDMA, cocaine and cannabis.

Additionally, $186,200 in cash (across Tasmania and NSW) and 6 firearms were seized in Tasmania as a result of the operation.

Drug, firearm and dealing in the proceeds of crime charges have been laid with 24 of those charges being for the serious offence of ‘Trafficking in a Controlled Substance (s12, Misuse of Drugs Act 2001).

Investigations continue relating to further offences of unexplained wealth and dealing in the proceeds of crime.

“Illicit drugs have a damaging and broad impact on our community. Tasmania Police, along with other law enforcement agencies across Australia, is committed to targeting the supply of illicit drugs into the community,” Assistant Commissioner Cowling said.

“This operation demonstrates the strong and committed working relationships between jurisdictions and partner agencies to target illicit drugs in our communities.

“Criminals involved in the manufacture and distribution of drugs in Tasmania should take notice. We will identify you, we will investigate you and we will prosecute you for the importation of illicit drugs into Tasmania.”

Members of the community are encouraged to report suspicious activity in relation to criminals involved in the distribution of drugs in our community to Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000 or report online at crimestopperstas.com.au