Two charged in Tasmania for 'ice' import

58-year-old arrested for importing meth

Editor's note: Footage of one arrest and stills of the seized drugs are now available via hightail.

A joint Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force (ABF) and Tasmania Police operation has resulted in the arrest of two men charged over the importation of almost three kilograms of crystal methamphetamine into Tasmania.

The importation was detected on Monday (27 September 2021), when ABF officers at a mail facility in Victoria discovered four sealed bags of white crystals concealed in a consignment of camping equipment destined for Tasmania from Spain.

Presumptive testing of the substance indicated a positive result for methamphetamine. The package was examined by AFP Forensics, revealing a total of approximately three kilograms of crystal methamphetamine.

Three kilograms of crystal methamphetamine has a potential street value of up to $4.5 million and would result in up to 30,000 individual deals.

The illicit drugs, hidden inside the consignment of tents and air mattresses, were replaced with an inert substance and yesterday (Friday, 1 October 2021), AFP and Tasmania Police arranged for the delivery of the consignment to a residential address in Glenorchy, Tasmania.

Police executed a search warrant at the home yesterday, where two men, aged 58 and 51 were arrested.

The 58-year-old Glenorchy man was arrested at his home and charged with importing commercial quantities of border controlled drugs, namely methamphetamine contrary to section 307.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The 51-year-old, also from Glenorchy, was charged with attempting to possess commercial quantities of a border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine contrary to section 307.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for these offences is life imprisonment.

During the operational activity, police located and seized seal bags containing a white crystalline substance and mobile phones.

Investigations are continuing into the source and origins of the crystal methamphetamine.

The two men are scheduled to appear in Hobart Magistrates Court today (2 October 2021).

AFP Commander Southern Command Todd Hunter said the seizure highlighted the AFP's partnerships with state and territory law enforcement partners across Australia to protect the local community.

"Stopping these drugs before they reach our streets has prevented further harm to the Tasmanian community," he said.

"If you are trafficking and distributing illicit drugs in Tasmania, the AFP will use our law enforcement partnerships across Australia to come for you. We will continue to target those who exploit cross border transport – whether by air, sea or post – to protect all Australians from those who seek to profit from selling drugs to vulnerable citizens."

Tasmania Police Commander Tony Cerritelli said that every street deal seized by police was one less deal of illicit substance off our streets to help keep our families, friends and our community safe.

"Police not only work hard to seize illicit substances, they also work to disrupt syndicates and networks responsible for the distribution of them," he said.

"Today's seizure sends a clear message to criminals that despite our ongoing commitment to tackling COVID in our community, police and law enforcement agencies remain equally committed to targeting and holding criminals to account."

ABF Commander Port Operations South Chris Holzheimer said ABF officers have unique skills and cutting edge technology at their disposal, allowing them to see further into each package to find anything hidden within, regardless of how complex the concealment.

"Our warning is clear. Criminals may continuously try to import illicit goods, but the ABF and its partners will persist in tracking down the offenders, to prosecute them to the full extent of the law," he said.

If you have any information about drug crime in our community, you can provide this anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at crimestopperstas.com.au

Note to media:

Media are encouraged to include help-seeking information in stories about illicit drugs to minimise any negative impact on people in the community. The following services provide people with access to support and information.

Media enquiries:

  • AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297
  • ABF Media: (02) 6264 2211
  • Tasmania Police Media: (03) 6173 2867

National Security Hotline

Read the AFP Annual Report 2020-21

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

Platypus Online: Read. Discover. Enjoy.