Hume Highway drivers targeted in cross border road safety blitz – Operation Furious

More than 400 speeding fines have been issued and $2 million worth of tobacco and vapes seized in a major police road safety blitz this week.

Operation Furious ran between Monday 17 June 2024 and Thursday 20 June 2024 and targeted speeding and dangerous driving along the Hume Highway from the inner-city suburbs of Sydney through to Albury on the New South Wales/Victorian border.

In conjunction with NSW Police, Operation Hamilton was conducted by Victoria Police from Wodonga on the New South Wales/Victorian border to Melbourne.

The high-visibility operation involved NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Command officers, with assistance from inspectors from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, to ensure heavy vehicle drivers were compliant with vehicle regulations.

More than 180 NSW Traffic and Highway Patrol officers were deployed over the four days in marked and unmarked vehicles, conducting stationary and random speed enforcement duties.

During the Operation, police issued 726 traffic infringement notices, which included 437 infringements for speeding offences.

Police conducted 1556 random breath testing with two positive results detected, while 370 random drug tests were performed with 12 positive results detected.

Sixteen criminal and 38 traffic charges were laid, with 10 vehicles issued with defect notices.

Police conducted 28 searches of people and vehicles, with over $932,000 cash located and more than $2 million worth of tobacco and vapes seized.

Incidents of note included:

  • About 12:15pm on Monday 17 June 2024, officers attached to Riverina Highway Patrol stopped a van travelling south along the Hume Highway, Tumblong for the purpose of a random breath test. The vehicle was searched, and police allegedly located 9400 vapes in 37 boxes, which has an estimated street value of $329,000. The driver – a 52-year-old man – was arrested and taken to Gundagai Police Station where he was charged with goods in personal custody suspected being stolen (not m/v). The man was issued a Court Attendance Notice to attend Gundagai Local Court on Friday 16 August 2024.
  • About 12.20pm on Wednesday 19 June 2024, officers attached to Albury Highway Patrol were conducting patrols of the Hume Highway, Holbrook where they stopped a driver for a random breath test. Police searched his vehicle and allegedly located $603,014 in cash concealed within boxes. A 37-year-old male driver was taken to Albury Police Station and was charged with deal with property proceeds of crime. He was granted conditional bail to appear at Albury Local Court on Thursday 8 August 2024.
  • About 3.15pm on Thursday 20 June 2024, officers attached to Cootamundra Highway Patrol stopped a car on Cross Street, South Gundagai and the driver was subjected to a roadside drug test which allegedly returned a positive result. Police searched the car and allegedly located a homemade .22 calibre firearm, ammunition and a liquid substance believed to be an illicit drug. The driver – a 26-year-old man – was taken to Wagga Wagga Police Station and was charged with:
  • Acquire etc firearm – subject to prohibition order
  • Acquire etc ammunition subject to prohibition order
  • Possess unauthorised firearm
  • Acquire ammunition for firearm without licence/permit
  • Possess unregistered firearm – not pistol/prohibited firearm
  • Deal with property proceeds of crime
  • Drive vehicle under influence of alcohol.

He was refused bail to attend Wagga Wagga Local Court today (Friday 21 June 2024) where he was formally refused bail to attend the same court on Monday 24 June 2024.

  • Around 10.30pm on Thursday 20 June 2024, officers attached to Riverina Highway Patrol stopped a van travelling along the Hume Highway, Mundarlo for the purposes of a roadside random breath test. Police searched the van and allegedly located 860,520 illicit cigarettes in boxes, with an estimated street value of $1,290,780. The 67-year-old male driver and 67-year-old male passenger were arrested and taken to Wagga Wagga Police Station. The men were charged with possess tobacco 500kg or more and goods in custody to appear at Wagga Wagga Local Court on 3 July 2024.

Traffic and Highway Patrol South West Commander, Superintendent Rob Toynton said the high-visibility police operation was a success but it is disappointing that some drivers continue to break the road rules.

“While the majority of drivers are doing the right thing, it’s disappointing that some are still choosing to risk not only their lives, but the lives of others, by being reckless on our roads and speeding or driving under the influence,” Superintendent Toynton said.

“We will also continue to target and disrupt the transport of illegal tobacco and vapes.

“This operation is proof NSW police won’t tolerate criminal behaviour, and if you chose to do the wrong thing, you will be caught”.

/Public Release. View in full here.