Operation Gateway – significant seizure of methylamphetamine

Two women have been charged following a significant seizure of methylamphetamine (ICE) on the Spirit of Tasmania last night.

The seizures occurred while Tasmania Police were undertaking passenger screening at the Spirit of Tasmania dock in Devonport about 8pm last night.

The screening formed part of Operation Gateway – a joint operation involving Tasmania Police, Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force – which commenced on 12 December targeting air, sea and mail corridors into Tasmania.

As a result of an indication by police drug detector dog Bernie, a 42 year old female passenger and a 26 year old female passenger were found to be each concealing a trafficable quantity of methylamphetamine (ICE), with a potential street value of $500,000.

Both women were arrested and charged with trafficking in a controlled substance and will appear before the Hobart Magistrates Court on 3 February 2020.

“This seizure of more than 700 grams takes approximately 7020 street ‘deals’ of methylamphetamine out of the hands of vulnerable Tasmanians. Illicit drug use is a concern for all Tasmanians. We see the impacts not only on the user but also their families, friends and the community as a whole,” Detective Inspector Kate Chambers said.

“For those seeking to profit from selling harmful drugs to Tasmanians, know that we will target you and your activities in order to keep Tasmanians safe.”

Detective Inspector Chambers said that Tasmania Police drug, firearm and explosive detection dogs were used to screen passengers, baggage, cargo, vehicles and mail into the state as part of Operation Gateway.

“The Australian Border Force utilised state of the art x-ray machines to screen baggage and cargo and the Australian Federal Police provided critical investigative support for the operation,” she said.

“Tasmania Police is committed to preventing the importation and distribution of illicit substances in our state. We work closely with The Spirit of Tasmania and other partners to ensure that our sea, air and mail corridors are not exploited by those wanting to profit from drug distribution.”

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

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